Submitted by North Thurston Public Schools
Meeting the need for more space and a growing demand for out-of-school programming for youth just got a little easier, thanks to an expanded partnership between North Thurston Public Schools and the Lacey branch of Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County (BGCTC).
The new agreement allows BGCTC to lease space at the Rajinder S. Manhas Activity Center (RMAC), 200 Sleater Kinney Road NE, for summer programming. Pending BGCTC board approval, the RMAC may likely become a second Lacey Club location for the 2020-21 school year.
“This partnership allows us to meet the growing demand for after-school programming as well as the needs of more youth and families in the NTPS service area,” said Monty Sabin, Asst. Superintendent of Operations for North Thurston Public Schools. The new RMAC space includes the gym, restrooms and the corridor on the north end. The total square footage is about 14,627 feet. It will serve about 36 students this summer, K-8 grade level, under current physical distancing requirements. “This opportunity is a reflection of our School Board initiative to build community partnerships which came out of our Community Conversations series.”
The new agreement expands the current BGCTC lease with the district for use of the Lacey branch location on Tracey Lane and includes payment for facility use, utilities, and custodial services. Due to current health guidelines for serving children during COVID-19, reduced capacity at the Lacey branch on Tracey Lane could not meet the demand for Club programs and care.
“This partnership with NTPS and opening a Club at the RMAC allows us to continue our mission of inspiring youth to realize their greatness,” said BGCTC CEO Chris Woods. “Utilizing the RMAC means we can serve more youth, provide fun and meaningful programs, and serve as an extension of the school year and school day for kids who need us most.”
Students attending Club at the RMAC will have access to range of activities including a games room, academic tutoring, computer lab, art room, and gym. A positive aspect of the location is the proximity to the Family & Youth Resource (FYR) Center which provides services that can be accessed by Club families, if needed.
“Establishing a Club branch at the RMAC reflects Raj Manhas’ commitment to help support children even after the school bell rings at the end of the day,” said Woods. Manhas, for whom the building is named, was the former Superintendent of NTPS. He supported the efforts of Boys & Girls Clubs and other community partners in providing wrap-around services to youth and their families. “This partnership witnesses to his legacy and the continued commitment of NTPS to support the Boys & Girls Club mission.”
Visit BGCTC.org or @BGCTC (Facebook) to learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County.