Published February 12, 2016 15:46
George Waters Middle School (190 Ferry Rd.) is now the official site of a Boys & Girls Club.
On Feb. 11, the school held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and invited Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg (BGCW) leaders and organizers to address the students who have already been taking part in the programming for a few weeks.
When asked why he enjoys the program, Anglin Evans, 12, said, "I like playing dodgeball, and eating food."
Student Amy Crockett said in her presentation that, "it’s a great way to make friends and spend time having fun with other people."
Food, activities and a chance to spend time with friends are big draws for the middle school students. However, as former chair of the BGCW Strini Reddy explained, the programs are about more than that.
"All of you know that our children spend a lot more time out of school than they do in school — I wonder how many of us think about that," Reddy said to the students and staff. "So whatever we do outside of school is so important because it supports what our kids do and what all of the wonderful schools do to support our children."
Reddy added there’s more to it than simply having someplace to hang out after school.
"The BGCW is not just a holding tank for kids after school," he said. "They do quality programming and they’re also interested in academics... it’s not just playtime. You get all kinds of exciting things happening but we also want you to be good learners and to be better people."
The George Waters club originated at St. James the Assiniboine Anglican Church (195 Collegiate St.) in 2002, a block away from the school. Principal Andrew Mead said the addition of the club to the school made sense, given the relationship between the school and the church.
"We had a great relationship with the church for as long as I’ve been at George Waters, which is six years," Mead said. "This is so important for our new students to get connected to our school and do something positively with themselves after school… this is a perfect fit."
Reddy commended the show of community support at the ribbon cutting.
"I’m glad the city is represented here, the province is represented here, this is what a community looks like," he said. "All of us playing a part, bringing together our skills, but most of all our love for our kids, because we all want to see them grow and see them become great citizens. We really can’t leave that to our schools alone, we have to help them help us."