The Boys and Girls Club of New Albany officially reopened on June 8 after temporarily closing due to COVID-19 and both staff and members of the Club are excited to be back together, even with all the new regulations that must be followed.

Lindsey Powell, the Club’s program director, provided some insight into how the Boys and Girls Club is handling reopening during the pandemic. While the Club usually has around 120 children enrolled in their summer program, they have been limited to only accepting 50 students, forcing them to turn down others who normally spend their summers in the program. Everyone who comes into the building must wear a mask at all times and keep a six-foot distance from others. Upon first entering the building, all students must have their temperature checked and sanitize their hands. Each member is given a personal pencil pouch at the beginning of the day that contains the supplies they will need for the entire day in an effort to avoid cross-contamination.

“It gives them something to do outside of just being at home all the time, especially during this pandemic. It’s easy to just stay at home and play video games or sleep, but I feel excited that they’re still wanting to come,” Powell said.

The staff at the Club is working to maintain as much normalcy as possible by keeping the students on a schedule that involves the same activities in which they would usually participate.

Powell also said the Club has a daily Power Hour, where students can get help on homework during the school year or work on educational worksheets or trivia games during the summer.

“Our summer program is geared toward academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and leadership development,” Powell said. “We teach them different life skills and help them build their character and reputation.”

The Boys and Girls Club is currently open five days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Club, under unit director Marquel Connor, plans to continue to be open into the school year after the summer program ends July 16. They will continue to follow all CDC guidelines as they are updated.

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