Originally Published: April 18, 2014 9:35 a.m.
PRESCOTT, Arizona - Prescott and Prescott Valley kids soon will once again have a safe place to hang out, play and learn after school.
The Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona will reopen on Monday, May 5, in its Prescott and Prescott Valley locations, according to the club's executive director Gerald Szostak. The after-school program runs from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
The clubs shut the doors in mid-February in order to restructure after struggling financially in recent months when funding sources dwindled. Ten employees were laid off as a result of the closure, which displaced approximately 225 students.
Starting May 27, the clubs will begin summer programs. Summer hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and will offer programs through the last week in July, Szostak said.
Fees for attendance will be cut to $40 a month, plus an annual $25 membership fee for children and a $15 annual membership fee for teens. Weekly rates will be charged for summer programs. Those rates are contingent on income levels, Szostak said.
The club recently restructured its management team, taking on Szostak and Kristen Kerns, the club's new events and grants coordinator, to manage operations.
Szostak said he plans to get out into the community to talk about the importance of the Boys and Girls Club and assure parents the club won't close again anytime soon. "We are going to be build a strong, stable organization that will not be closing," he said.
Szostak has worked for the Boys and Girls Club for eight years. He managed two locations in the Phoenix area, serving approximately 1,600 children, prior to moving to Prescott.
"I saw a chance to help a lot kids in this community, so I'm very excited to be here," he said.
Kerns brings five years of experience in marketing and event-planning for nonprofits in the Phoenix area.
The club offers a number of programs, homework assistance, computer access and more.
"It's a structured place, it's a safe place, and we try to get the most out of the time we have with the kids," Szostak said. "We're going to be more vocal in the community, so parents will know what's going on in the clubs."
The Prescott Boys and Girls Clubs are located at 335 E. Aubrey Street, and 8201 E. Loos Drive in Prescott Valley. For more information, visit www.bgccaz.org.