SEARCHING 4 SOLUTIONS: Funding changes impact Boys & Girls Club

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – When the school days end, the fun begins at the Penick Boys & Girls Club in Little Rock.

“Here, you can be yourself and see other kids,” Jaylen Calhoun, 14, said.

Calhoun has been coming to the Penick Club for half of his life.

“They’ll always be nice to you. They won’t be all aggressive and mean. You can always rely on somebody to be there with you,” Calhoun said about the staff.

The kids play games, socialize with others and get help on their schoolwork, which was beneficial for 10-year-old Isabelle Pearson.

“They helped me with my homework sometimes,” Pearson said. “I started getting good grades.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas has six clubs in the Little Rock metro. They all play a critical role in the neighborhoods they serve, but due to some funding and grants no longer being available, the clubs need your help.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion in that, ‘Oh well they’ve been around for 100 years. They’re fine. They don’t need any help from us,’ and that’s just not true,” CEO Cindy Doramus said.

It costs roughly $180,000 per month to keep the doors open, lights on and programs available.

“We’re just wanting the community to know that we don’t want clubs to close. What would happen in that neighborhood if we weren’t there?”

KARK asked Calhoun that very question.

“I would have been at home or I would have been at my grandma’s house and just being bored,” he said.

KARK will host a telethon to help the Boys & Girls Club raise money for operation on Wednesday, September 18 during all of its newscasts. You can donate now by clicking here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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