Bemidji Boys & Girls Club Expanding with Learning Center at J.W. Smith Elementary
Bemidji Area Schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Bemidji Area were recently awarded a grant to create three 21st Century Community Learning Center Program sites to serve students after school. The Boys & Girls Club will be running one of those centers, which will be located at J.W. Smith Elementary and will serve students in grades K-3.
The centers are designed to provide academic support, enrichment programs, family literacy, and educational engagement events to students.
“This grant from the Minnesota Department of Education is really to help our community children with math and reading and social and emotional supports, extending the learning day,” said Andrea Kent, executive director of the Bemidji Boys & Girls Club. “So they’re in school doing great work with teachers and [paraprofessionals] during the school day. And this is really for out-of-school time.”
Kent is excited to be partnering with the Bemidji School District, and being able to give students the extra help.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with our school district to serve those students who need us most,” added Kent.
McKenna Rohe, the 21st Century site coordinator with the Boys & Girls Club, was excited to announce the expansion to J.W. Smith and the increase in students that will be in the program under her this fall.
“[We’ll be] able to accept more youth, so more youth here at our clubhouse and more youth over at our J.W. site. So we are able to focus on the academic learning loss and promoting those skills throughout our whole entire school year,” explained Rohe.
The program will also be opening this fall at Bemidji Middle School and Bemidji High School. The school district will be operating those sites.