Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield reopening for fall semester Monday with COVID-19 safety plan

Jessi HawkinsVolunteer Spotlight

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT|Updated: 13 hours ago
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Kids across Springfield spend days after school at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield. The clubs open for the fall semester on Monday, August 23, with added safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Director of Operations Jeff Long says eight different sites will be open to kids. That’s three more than years prior, which allows them to serve more students. However, it also adds more concern over their safety.

“The kids are always wearing their masks unless they’re in the gym and they’re physically running around or they’re outside or when they’re eating,” Long says. “We feed them supper after school. Otherwise they have to wear masks, the staff have to wear masks.”

Marisa Leigh has been a member for the last eight years. For her, Leigh says it’s worth it to wear a mask so she can keep hanging out with her friends at the club after school.

“There is a lot of people and nice people here and you make a lot of friends and the staff are really nice,” Leigh says.

Masks are also required inside all club vehicles and hand sanitizer is provided when kids get on and off the bus.

“We have seating charts so that way if there is a positive case that helps with contact tracing,” Long says.

Long says to prevent the spread of the virus, they separate kids into small cohorts. Those cohorts have 25 kids to one staff member.

“If you’re a certain age group you’ll be in the art room and so while art will probably be a lot of what they do, each room becomes its own boys and girls club so we’ll have board games for them to play in the rooms,” Long says. “They can still do technology with the chrome books in the different rooms.”

Long says each club has a cleaning plan in order to sanitize all classrooms daily.

“We ask that all of our staff and parents do a self-check list to see how they’re feeling and if they have any symptoms, then they’re not to come to the boys and girls club,” Long says.

Registration is still open for the upcoming school year. Registration is $95 for the school year, but Long says they will work with families if they cannot afford the fee.

However, through a partnership with Springfield Public Schools, Long says if a student is on free or reduced lunch then there is no cost for the club.

“Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens,” Long says.

Long says the clubs are looking to hire more staff members and some students are currently on the wait-list because they don’t have enough staff to accommodate maximum capacity.

To report a correction or typo, please email [email protected]

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.