Moms First: Goshen Boys and Girls Club expands
A local Boys and Girls Club got a multi-million dollar facelift.
With this new expansion, kids now have access to state of the art technology and much more.
The Goshen club is now one of the largest in the country at 51,000 square feet, but as you take a closer look, the more than 400 kids that come through the doors each day are utilizing every square foot of space.
Alina Hernandez is just one of the 425 kids that come through The Boys and Girls Club of Goshen each day.
"I love being at the Boys and Girls Club. They help you with anything. You can make new friends from other schools," Hernandez said.
The club just completed a $5.4 million expansion that includes a new cadet room for first and second graders and a state of the art kitchen and dining room.
“They go to school, and they have a lunch, and then they'll come directly here after school. Many times they won't get home for dinner. Parents will pick them up till 6, 7, 8 o'clock at night, and they'll miss dinner so our board of directors decided it was important to feed the kids," said Kevin Deary, CEO for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Elkhart County.
He says they will serve 10,000 meals by the end of this year.
"Because of this fabulous expansion, we started a culinary program teaching kids those who have grown up with the food channel they have an opportunity to bake and learn how to cook here and eat healthy, so really excited about that,” Dreary said.
There is a quiet room for those that have sensory issues, a homework room, technology lab, which a lot of the kids don't have access to computers at home, and a steam room.
"This is science all day. We love this room because we have a robotics program that's here. We have other science projects. We’re looking forward to working more closely with Ethos as they're growing and expanding," Dreary said.
The learning center seems to be one of the favorites among the kids.
“They teach you stuff, you can color, you can go to science, you can read books, and you can build and you can listen to music.
Deary says he's seen great futures start right here, and academics plays a huge role in their success.
"We also track them academically from benchmark him back with the schools to make sure that they're staying on track,” Dreary said.
“We really want to focus on getting them on the reading and on map, and what happens is when they love school, they will be keeping up with their peers. And that's the whole goal of the Boys and Girls Club: is if you can keep up with their peers and even excel and give the opportunity. Hope and opportunity in this allows us to do that,” Dreary said.
The club is completely debt free from the new expansion.
The Board of Directors for the Goshen Boys and Girls Club raised the entire $5.4 million through local businesses and private donors.