North Okanagan youth benefit from partnership

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club is continuing its relationship with the Vernon School District to provide a variety of programs.

Two organizations are working together to meet the needs of local youth.

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club is continuing its long-standing relationship with the Vernon School District to provide a variety of programs.

“It’s an opportunity for kids to go to a school where they feel safe and have a relationship with our staff,” said Kirstie Blanleil, Vernon club director.

“Parents know they are in a safe place.”

The relationship began at Lavington Elementary six years ago, and after-school programs are available there Monday and Wednesdays.

Boys and Girls Club staff are also at Alexis Park Elementary Thursday nights and at Harwood Elementary during lunch hours.

It was decided to pursue outreach programs at local schools because some youth weren’t using regularly scheduled activities at the club in downtown Vernon.

“Children and parents are not aware of this service,” said Blanleil.

By introducing them to Boys and Girls programs at schools, it’s hoped they will visit the club.

Besides providing use of facilities, the school district funds two early learning programs through the Boys and Girls Club.

“The organization plays such a meaningful role in the life of children,” said Bill Turanski, school district chairperson, of the Boys and Girls Club.

The Boys and Girls Club has been operating in Vernon for 45 years.