Though the Northwest Middle School Boys & Girls Club is only two months old, its rapid growth has shown the evident need for programming at the community school. Approximately 85 students attend the club every day with a total enrollment of 225.
Two community members have stepped up to support the school and club. Tim Williams, CEO of 21st Mortgage, pledged $300,000 to the Great Schools Partnership over the next three years. The funds are earmarked for community school programs at Northwest Middle School.
“Today’s children and teenagers face tough challenges,” Williams said. “The community school program at Northwest Middle School is engaging kids when they need it the most, and we want to support this mission by ensuring the school has what it needs to help the students be successful.”
Tony Hollin, CEO of EdFinancial, recently made a $150,000 donation directly to the club at the community school.
“EdFinancial is glad to join 21st Mortgage in this very important venture that will transform the lives of thousands of kids in our community,” said Hollin, who recently co-chaired the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley “Our Kids, Our Future” campaign. “Northwest Middle is an important school in our county as students come from a variety of feeder elementary schools and backgrounds. Since it’s in a middle school, this club is in a unique position to serve teen members, and we hope the students will stay involved throughout high school.”
According to Shelley Carr, Northwest Middle club director, the goal is to increase the average daily attendance to 100 students, and this money will allow the club to offer additional programs to recruit members. A recently formed member council is meeting once a month to discuss programs, field trips and special projects to help recruit and retain fellow members.
“We’re so appreciative of Tony’s and Tim’s support of our club,” Carr said. “With this money and the direction of our council, we have the funds and leadership to accomplish our goal by the end of this year.”
About the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley:
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley began providing opportunities for youth in Knoxville in 1943 and has now grown into a four-county service area. Across the Tennessee Valley, 19 clubs exist in Knox, Blount, Loudon and North Anderson counties, and the clubs employ over 450 full-time and part-time staff members. Through the Boys & Girls Clubs, young people are shown that someone cares, and there are concerned and capable adults to whom they can turn for assistance. More than 7,200 at-risk boys and girls take advantage of the programs, activities and services provided by the clubs. They benefit from trained and caring staff and volunteers who help young people take control of their lives, envision productive futures and reach their goals.