New Boys & Girls Club to Open in South End
In the country’s oldest Boys & Girls Club on Sigourney Street, city and state officials and community leaders gathered on Thursday, Jan. 23, to announce a campaign to open a new club in Hartford’s South End.
The event brought together Governor Ned Lamont, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, City Council President Maly Rosado, and HPS Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, among other partners. The Governor signed a proclamation stating that Jan. 23 was Boys & Girls Club day in the state of Connecticut.
Sam Gray, president and CEO of the BGC in Hartford, emceed, introducing partners to announce their contributions to the new club. Greg Davis of Travelers Insurance spoke about how he was once a Club member and how the safe and positive institution helped create a sense of community for him as a child. Representatives from The Hartford, Stanley Black & Decker, and Bank of America all donated funds to the effort.
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 should 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.
Scheduled for construction this spring, the new Club will be located behind Burr Elementary School, making it a short and easy walk for those students.
When Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez spoke at the podium, she emphasized how the partnership with BGC helps serve the whole student by providing safe and affordable after-school care. She also announced the soon-to-be launch of Hope Academy, which will serve over-age and under-credited students with personalized support programs. The Academy will be housed at the Asylum Hill BGC location.
To raise the remaining funds needed to break ground on the new facility, Chris Swift of The Hartford announced the “Dig In” campaign that will allow any member of the public to make small or large contributions to the effort through www.bgchartford.org/southend.
The event and campaign are examples of the Family & Community Partnerships that are central to the district’s plan to help all students succeed in and beyond school.