Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

May 6, 2010

Site-based club opening for Polson Boys & Girls Club unit

POLSON The Boys & Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County announced today that it will be opening a site-based club for the Polson Unit. Club board members and the Vestry of the St. Andrews Episcopal Church have entered a rental agreement allowing the club to use the church basement as a club site.

The new site opening will correspond with the kickoff of the Summer Program, which runs from June 14 through August 20. The hours for the summer will be from noon until six o'clock p.m. The facility is located at 116 6th Avenue East just one block south of the Lake County Courthouse. A new sign will be erected soon indicating the back entrance of the church.

All youth age 6 years old through 18 years old are welcome to join. Membership applications for parents and guardians to fill out are available online at www.bclynx.org and through the mail. Interested youth may get an application at the Ronan office or the Polson site when it is open. Current Polson club members are automatically accepted on arrival. The annual fee for membership is $5. There is a one-day waiting period after new applications are received.

Program rooms will include a games room with pool table, air hockey, ping pong and lounge area, a computer lab with internet access and another room which can be divided for use as a crafts and reading resource room. Games and furniture was donated to the club by the church. "The church has bent over backwards to help us begin this new venture," remarked John Schnase, "all we need now is a desk, two small file cabinets and a refrigerator."

In addition to the summer activities, club members will be able to take advantage of the USDA approved free lunch program offered at the Linderman elementary school. Food will be served at noon and the club members can take the supervised two-block walk for a nutritious lunch.

The Polson Unit will continue to work with the Polson School District until the after-school program ends in mid-May. Three employees of the Boys & Girls Club have served with the Monday -Thursday after school program and this year kept the school site open on Fridays for club members. "We've had a good relationship with the school district in providing after school opportunities for kids," says John Schnase, Executive Director of the club. "There will be an advantage for kids needing a five-day-a week place to go during the summer and after school in this situation," says Schnase. The new arrangement makes the club more of a traditional unit. Programming and arrangement of the facility will resemble what traditional clubs try to look like.

This will change the appearance of the summer program according to Schnase. There no longer will be a bus running from Polson to the Ronan club every day. The club will try to make arrangements for swimming for the Polson club members as the summer goes on according to Schnase. Summer planning is still in progress and schedules will be forthcoming.

"We're in the midst of staff development and facility preparations right now," says Schnase, "the possibilities are exciting to club members, staff and the board of directors." "This will give us a chance to further develop the integrity of our club and hopefully make a more significant difference for the community of Polson," he said.

The club will host an open house during the summer. Further announcements will be made as the club site takes shape.

Questions may be directed to Schnase at 676-5437 or email hope@ronan.net. Interested parties may also visit the club website at www.bgclynx.org.

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