HPS and Partners Break Ground on New Boys & Girls Club Hartford
Nearly six months after announcing a campaign to open a new Boys & Girls Club Hartford (BGCH) in the city’s South End, Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez joined BGCH and supporting partners to break ground at the site on Ledyard Street on Thursday, June 10.
The event brought together a range of leaders and stakeholders, including Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, BGCH President and CEO Sam Gray, and BGCH’s Board Chair Alan Krezco, among many others.
Gray opened the event, followed by the list of speakers, including Chris Swift of The Hartford, which donated to the effort, and Chassidy Gonzalez, a BGCH Youth Leader. Also invited were State Senator John Fonfara, State Representative Julio Conception, Hartford City Council President Maly Rosado, and Hartford City Councilperson James Sanchez.
BGCH is the original and oldest Boys and Girls Clubs in the nation. The new facility, which will be located on land donated by the City, will serve 1,500 more children in Hartford in addition to the 8,000 that are already served by the Boys & Girls Club. It will provide a home away from home for up to one-third of Hartford school-age kids who live in the South End but have lacked an afterschool space.
The Club will be behind Burr Elementary School (which will house both Burr Middle School and Betances STEM Magnet School this year), making it a short and easy walk for those students.
When Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez spoke at the podium, she emphasized how the partnership with BGCH helps serve the whole student by providing safe and affordable after-school care. She also talked about the planning of the Club in the South End as an “equity move” that will serve all of Hartford’s students.
The Superintendent was followed by BGCH Youth Leader of the Year Chassidy Gonzalez. She talked about using her platform to advocate for youth like her to receive the same opportunities she has enjoyed as an active member of the Club and South End community.
The event and groundbreaking are examples of the Family & Community Partnerships that are central to the district’s plan to help all students succeed in and beyond school. It also demonstrates the commitment to equity for all children in Hartford and creating community schools to serve all students.
#Thankful to be a part of the exciting #groundbreaking for the new @BGCHartford with @GovNedLamont @LGSusanB @MayorBronin , the BGC Student of the Year & more. The club will serve @Hartford_Public youth from #BurrSchool @BSTEMhartford @BulkeleyPride & our community. #access pic.twitter.com/5Cj2v4BPuX
— Dr. Torres-Rodriguez (@HartfordSuper) June 11, 2020