LEOMINSTER – Despite renovations keeping parts of the club closed, enrollments jumped dramatically at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster—helped by a 100% increase in the number of kids enrolling from Fitchburg due to improved bus transportation—and membership is expected to continue to rise throughout the year.
“We went from 136 kids enrolled by last September 30, 2010 to 219 members this September 30,” said Donata Martin, club’s executive director.
The second largest contingent of kids—105 kids enrolled from Leominster last year, up from 74 the year before—is from Leominster.
The rise in members from Fitchburg— up from 54 to 109 kids—is the result of a new club-financed busing program that provides transportation to the club each day from all Fitchburg schools, including Montachusett Regional Vocational and Technical School, the North Central Essential Charter School and Fitchburg High School, Martin said.
“The expansion in busing kids has been helped by grants from
Fitchburg-based foundations, like the Crocker Foundation, a Fitchburg CDBG award and by the commitment of our board to do what it takes to serve the Fitchburg community,” she added.
Kids do not have to live in the Twin Cities to join. A few kids from Townsend, Westminster, Worcester, and Lunenburg attend the club. Membership will grow as the school year advances, said Martin. “As the cold weather sets in and football season ends for the schools, we expect daily attendance to double. Kids can join anytime during the year.”
The B&G Club of Fitchburg and Leominster is supported primarily by donations and grants from local individuals, corporations and foundations. Please contact the Club for information about membership dues. Dues are reduced or waived for families experiencing hardship. “No child is turned away,” said Martin.
The club, the former Julie Country Day School, was recently purchased from the Trustees of the Reservation, and has been undergoing extensive renovations.
“The club will be under construction for pretty much the whole of next year but the work is being done in phases so that it doesn’t interrupt our ability to serve kids,” said Martin. “We and the community will be very happy with the end result”.