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Boys and Girls Club aims for stronger community

June 23, 2012

By MATT CRANE
sdnlife@bellsouth.net

The Boys and Girls Club of Starkville did more than just help children build wooden projects on Thursday. They helped build a community.
Lowe’s brought their Build and Grow program to the Boys and Girls Club of Starkville’s center Thursday to assist in the construction of wooden projects modeled after popular Dreamworks Animation films like Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.

Executive Director Joyce Ellenwood became aware of the store’s program when she took her son to one of the in-store scheduled events one weekend.

“I just thought this would be a great idea to bring to the club,” Ellenwood said. “The skills they can learn are just great, because they can put something together and really own what they’re building.”

Ellenwood said the over 20 third and fourth grade students who participated were focused in finishing their projects, and was thankful to Lowe’s for partnering with the club for the event.

“It’s a great relationship to build with a local business in the area,” she said. “We’re very proactive in terms of engaging the community and sharing what the club is doing.”

Ellenwood said she felt at times members of the community were unsure about what the Boys and Girls Club does, but said the focus and mission was youth development.

“We’re building and stressing on things like characters, leadership and academics,” she said. “We’re raising these kids up to be the future responsible citizens of this community.”

Ellenwood said the club serves children from the ages of 6 to 18, and is grateful for the involvement she has seen from parents.

“It’s very important to keep them involved and in tune,” she said. “We have such a great group of parents.”

Along with special projects and events like the Lowe’s Build and Grow program, Ellenwood said the Boys and Girls Club offers classrooms, a computer lab, snack area, gymnasium and an outdoor play area that she is hopeful will be the site of a new garden project in the future.

“We’re trying to expose them to things they might not experience in their every day life,” she said. “It’s about inspiring their minds to do great things.”

Jacquie Myers, Unit Director for the Starkville Boys and Girls Club, said her job is to serve the children of this community and make a difference.

“It’s about making a difference and connecting with these community kids, because what goes around, comes around,” Myers said. “It’s great how passionate the community is about us.”
For more information on the Boys and Girls Club of Starkville, visit http://http://www.bgcgoldentriangle.org or call 662-615-9980.

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