Hillsborough County Boys & Girls Club expands after-school programs

After-school programs for elementary school children can be expensive and hard to find. The Boys & Girls Club just made it easier.

When the final bell rings at DeSoto Elementary, activities begin at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa AfterZone Elementary School program.

The kids like it, but it also helps working moms and dads. 

"It gives our parents, our youth and our families an opportunity to realize that the kids have an out-of-school programing option that's going to be very conducive to learning and focused on what we call our three pillars: academic success, healthy living lifestyle and character leadership," said Terry Carter, CEO and president of Boys & Girls Club. 

They just added three new clubs at Just Elementary School, DeSoto Elementary School and Excelsior Prep Charter School, to give more children an opportunity at finding success. 

"I'm looking long-term to change the trajectory of my students' lives, for them to have a viable option of finishing elementary school, successfully going into a middle school where they can really find their path, graduating high school and having a career, whether it's going on to college or finding a technical career," said Daphne Fourqurean, the principal Just Elementary School.  

The Children's Board of Hillsborough County was recently glad to help sponsor the clubs. 

"The Children's Board, we invest in the partnerships and quality programs to support children and families in our local community," said Dexter Lewis, the director of public relations at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County. "What better way to continue to do that than invest in and high quality after school programs to support parents and caregivers that are working hard during the day." 

Their hard work that is changing family dynamics. 

"If you talk to the parents that might have a third or a fifth or sixth-grader, they're going to tell you that's the number-one thing that they're most appreciative of, is that we get the homework done for the kids," said Carter. "Which obviously make sure they have time for family time when they get home." 

There are now 25 clubs in Hillsborough County. For more information, visit www.bgctampa.org.