FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) – Help is coming to children in Ferguson. A ribbon cutting Monday afternoon officially opened the newest site for "Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis." The Ferguson Florissant School District opened its doors at Ferguson Middle School offering space for year round programming.
Civic leaders help launch the new site with a ribbon cutting Monday. Hundreds of children show up for the first day of summer camp as well. Antonio, an 8th Grader from Berkeley Middle School describes his excitement. “When my parents first told me about it yesterday, I wanted to go. They signed me up on Friday and I decided to walk here today.”
Samyia is an 8th Grader at Ferguson Middle and she’s looking forward to meeting new people. “We never really had a summer camp here. And it gives kids a chance to come out and make friends with other kids and enjoy the summer.”
The on-site placement of the Boys & Girls Club is designed to help children access services provided by the club. Flint Fowler, President Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis explains.” If you introduce these children early enough you have a chance to have a greater impact. So, by being in the school, where the kids are, we can meet with them more frequently and engage them.”
And the politicians on hand for the ribbon cutting all agree the children of Ferguson have experienced things others their age will never know. Unrest and tension consumed everyone for so long, now the adults want to focus on those kids. U. S. Congressman William “Lacy” Clay directed his comments to the kids in the room. “This new Boys & Girls Club is a statement of faith in your future and the future of this community too.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles once attended Ferguson Middle School. “We couldn`t do what we`re doing here without groups like the Boys & Girls Clubs. It is those partnerships that are key to moving this community forward.”
Robert, a 10th Grader at McCluer North says kids need something to do. “It`s a good way to help young adults spend their time instead of running the streets and it also helps them have an outlet for their emotions.”
This is the third in-school location for the Boys &Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis. Programming will continue through the summer. During the school year activities run until 8 pm.