New Boys and Girls Club to open next year at Howard Community College

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Apr. 15—By Sherry Greenfield —

PUBLISHED:April 15, 2024 at 3:45 p.m.| UPDATED:April 15, 2024 at 3:54 p.m.

A new Boys and Girls Club will be opening on the campus of Howard Community College in Columbia next year, to provide middle and high school students living in the Wilde Lake area with special programming.

It is the first Boys & Girls Club on the campus of a community college in Maryland, according to Jeff Breslin, chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced April 9 that he has allocated $220,000 for a new club at Howard Community College in the county's proposed fiscal 2025 operating budget.

"In Howard County, we celebrate our young people because we see in them the future leaders of our community," Ball stated in a news release. "While our education and recreational programs are exceptional, we recognize that not every community — much less every child — has equal access to healthy, enriching experiences outside school hours."

Howard Community College already offers a Kids on Campus program each summer, which offers activities for children ages 6 to 17, in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), creative arts and test preparation. This year's program will run from June 24 to Aug. 15, with half-day programs in the morning and afternoon.

In alignment with the college's mission, "providing pathways to success," the new Boys and Girls Club is intended to offer Howard County middle and high schoolers learning opportunities geared toward academics, leadership growth, living a healthy lifestyle and being responsible, productive and caring residents.

"In partnership with County Executive Ball, we are proud to establish the Boys & Girls Club at Howard Community College, which will be the first Boys & Girls Club on the campus of a community college in Maryland," Breslin stated in the news release. "[We] look forward to providing tweens and teens from the Wilde Lake community with enriching activities and life-changing opportunities under the guidance of our trained staff."

The Boys and Girls Club provides youth with a safe, constructive, supportive environment when they are not at home or at school. The clubs are places to have fun with peers and be guided by youth development professionals.

The Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore is free to members, its website states. On occasion, specialized programming, sports or field trips may require a fee. The program receives funding to operate from grants, donations, special events and some fees, according to the annual report for fiscal 2023. Total revenue was $11,849,255 in 2023, up from $6,660,967 in fiscal 2022.

Howard County is home to the Laurel Boys and Girls Club, Savage Boys and Girls Club and the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia. The Laurel club includes members from Prince George's County and some 3,500 members reside in Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

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