CATEGORY: EDT Editorials

AUTHOR: JOER

People with good ideas and strong wills often accomplish good things far out proportion to their numbers.

The dreams and dedication of a small but enthusiastic group became reality this month with the official opening of the Boys and Girls Club of Tupelo/Lee County at the Northside Center on Green Street.

The club, as its name conveys, is for boys and girls (ages 6 to 18). Its goals include the development of good relationships, good attitudes, and good school work habits. The combination of organized play and work seeks to provide a measure of balance and discipline that too many boys and girls (and not just the ones who go to the club) lack in Tupelo, Lee County and many other places.

The new club, which has a $110,000 annual budget, again demonstrates the success in Tupelo and Lee County of public/private sector cooperation.

The city of Tupelo, through its housing authority, donated and renovated the building for the club. The United Way committed $15,000. The housing authority donated about $25,000. CREATE Foundation made a $20,000 grant.

The commitments of money demonstrate a continuing, long-term interest in the development of every person who lives in the Tupelo/Lee County community. People and institutions have been reaching deep and responding creatively to needs of people of all ages for a long time. The needs of children and adolescents, however, elicit unusually generous responses and broadly based concern. The Tupelo/Lee County community understands that the future rests with children. If children have a chance to use their intelligence and to develop more fully, the future becomes brighter for everyone.

The Boys and Girls Club stresses some basic values that too often seem forgotten in contemporary culture: sharing, courtesy, sportsmanship, fair play, hard work, and respect for other people among them. Those core values may seem so obvious as to be ingrained in everyone, but most people know that's not the case.

Values are taught and learned. The Boys and Girls Club practices and teaches values worthy of handing on from generation to generation.

The children and adolescents who join the new club have doors opened for them to new possibilities and their own potential. Its success could make a significant difference for those who participate regularly in its programs and activities.

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