By Kathy Johnson
The Rockfish Valley Community Center (RVCC), joined by interested community supporters, has formed a steering committee to pursuing the formation of a Boys and Girls Club (BAGC).
The group will host an orientation meeting with the regional director of the BAGC, Henry Saxon, at a time yet to be announced in October. Next steps will include the election of officers and a board of directors, fund raising and grant writing, the establishment of a budget and ultimately the hiring of a program director and staff.
RVCC board member Agnes Schrider hosted a community meeting on the idea in September and cited the 13 percent rise in local juvenile crime, the 2,400 children in the area who have no health insurance and the 20 percent rise in births to unwed mothers with less than a 12th grade education as proof of the need for a BAGC in Nelson County. “I think we have a real opportunity here to guide our children,” she said.
At that meeting, Saxon pointed to the potential reduction in juvenile crime, improved school attendance, reduced school dropout rate and increase in college-educated young people resulting from the influence of the BAGC. He said that 52 percent of those who attend a BAGC say that participating in the club “saved my life” and 80 percent say BAGC taught them right from wrong.
Joining Schrider on the steering committee are Pastor David Cameron, Leslie Alexander, Timothy Jackson, Tim White, Hayley Osborne, Kim Toliver, Leslie Benz, Mary Cunningham, Ann Ashton, Mike Sherwood, Jenn Rhubright, Diana Malsky, Kelley Messer and Margaret Clair.
“There are many exciting things happening at RVCC and I am enthusiastic and encouraged by the community’s response,” Schrider said. “I know as a mother of an 8 and a 6 year old, I want a safe environment for my kids to go to. Our goal is to open for the summer of 2010. It is not far away and we have a lot to accomplish in a few short months.”
For more information, call Schrider at 540-456-4677.