Tracy Jones, the Club Service Director of the Boys & Girls Club, South Lake Unit in Clermont, was a recent guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Clermont. The Boys and Girls Club is located in the Clermont Arts & Recreation Center and opened Monday through Friday from 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm.
Tracy has been a member of the organization for the past nine years and director for 7 ½ years. She is involved in managing the daily operations of the Club, providing leadership and guidance to kids, staff, and volunteers.
The Club opened in 2010 with a registration of about 64 children but currently is a facility where children, from seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools are transported to the Club at the completion of their school day. The children’s parents pay a nominal fee for membership, but the major funding comes from outside donations.
Tracy stated that all funds raised for the South Lake Unit are dedicated to that unit and not shared with others. While at the club, the kids complete their school homework and those who need tutoring or other assistance are given this help. After completion of their school work, the children engage in activities which are supervised by the club staff.
Tracy said that her job is to ensure that kids not only have academic success but develop to their full potential. During a typical school day, the club has approximately 125 children in attendance but have the capability for more. During the summer program the club accommodates about 350 kids, but again, the capacity is for many more. The unit staff consists of paid personnel and volunteers. Some of the graduates from the program return to volunteer as staff members.
Tracy added that the club has merged with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida but still maintains its autonomy and uniqueness to South Lake County.
When asked about the cost of membership, Tracy said the parents pay a small fee for a child to attend the club. In the event there is more than one child in the program, parents can volunteer their service and time.
Tracy thanked Kiwanis for its support over the years. At the conclusion of her presentation, President-Elect Chris Boylan thanked Tracy and presented her with a commemorative Club Pin.