Once the school bell rings at the end of the day, kids scatter. Some of them hop aboard buses. Others climb in awaiting cars. There are some that walk home. For nearly 800 kids in Natrona County, their after school time is spent at school. Not in a classroom, but in the Club.
Since 2005, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming has been serving kids at school sites in Casper, starting at Evansville and McKinley Elementaries. Currently, after school programming through the Club is available at Journey, Lincoln, Paradise Valley, and Verda James Elementaries, along with a Teen Center at Dean Morgan Middle School.
For a decade, the Club partnered with Mills Elementary, open before and after school and during the summertime.
“We felt a huge need for after school support that provided academic, social and positive engaging activities. The Club has provided that support for families and students,” said Coebie Taylor-Logan, former Mills principal.
When Mills Elementary closed at the end of the 2016-17 school year, Taylor-Logan moved on as the principal at the new Journey Elementary School and she knew she wanted the Club to also make the move.
“The Club aligns with our building expectations and rules so kids can have consistency for positive growth and success of youth,” said Taylor-Logan.
Jessica Baxter is the Vice President of Operations with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming. She says serving kids where they are creates a comfortable familiarity for the students. “Not only is a school site convenient for students and parents, it provides a continuum of the school day education, as the Club staff partners with teachers and parents to provide support for the out-of-school time.”
Parents agree. One Verda James parent said “It is very consoling to know our children are safe, happy, and taken care of when they are at the Verda Club!” Another parent said “The variety of activities allows students to decompress from the school day, but in a familiar setting.”
The school sites follow the Boys & Girls Clubs of America “formula for impact” with a focus in three core areas: Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. Members get homework help every day, tutoring if needed, and an opportunity to stay physically active. It’s this “formula” that has educators enthusiastic about having a Club site at their school.
“The Club offers exceptional care for our students while being affordable and convenient for parents,” said Verda James Elementary principal Kevin Pagett. “Students are engaged in a variety of activities that support our commitment as a school to educational excellence.”
School Sites and Hours
Dean Morgan Teen Center: 3-6 pm
Journey Elementary: 7-8:30 am and 3:30-6 pm
Lincoln Elementary: 3:30-6 pm
Paradise Valley Elementary: 3:30-7 pm
Verda James Elementary: 3:30-6 pm
Transportation is available from Oregon Trail to Paradise Valley, Fort Caspar to Journey, Cottonwood to Journey, and Summit to Verda James.
1701 E "K" St.
Casper, WY 82601
Club number: 307.234.2456
Program Support: 307.235.4079