Group helps Youngstown school students, expands reach

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip has said the district needs help to meet the needs of students. One group which is helping is the Boys and Girls Clubs of Youngstown.

The Boys and Girls clubs has opened three new sites in the Youngstown district to serve 7th and 8th-grade students, allowing it to provide programming to kids all over the city, instead of just at its south side facility.

“We are looking for the next mayor of Youngstown. Who knows, the next president of the United States. So, we want every kid who has the opportunity to come,” said Germaine McAlpine, executive director of Boys and Girls Club.

The Boys and Girls Clubs serves over 900 youth, and now it can help even more. The after-school programming is a mix of healthy lifestyles, character and leadership programming plus activities – even homework help. The program runs from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and is free.

So far, 50 kids have joined the after-school program. It’s only in its third week but is already showing success.

“I’ve seen students when you turn over the academic component to them and incentivize self-directed learning, they really take to it,” said Programming Director Thomas Toney. “For example, one of our sites we have a deaf student and a student with autism and the students are super supportive. They started a sign language club yesterday so they can communicate with one another. And that was really awesome to see.”

This is one component of the Youngstown schools after-school program which serves 1,200, four days a week.

“They’re not just going home and watching TV, but they are actually in a productive setting,” McAlpine said.

The Clubs are at Martin Luther King Elementary, William Holmes McGuffey Elementary and Paul C. Bunn Elementary.