Irricana Boys and Girls Club providing support for kids
The Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Airdrie has extended its reach further into Rocky View County.
The BGC took over the lease of The Crib, a building in Irricana, in January and also has a location in Crossfield.
Located on 5th Street, the Irricana location is the site of an after-school program for children in grades 1 to 4 that runs Monday to Thursday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 2:30 to 6 p.m.
On Monday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m., kids in grades 5 to 8 can participate in the Torch Club, which helps develop their leadership skills and self-esteem, according to the BGC website.
On Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m., youth in Grade 9 and higher can participate in the Keystone program, which has the goal of developing self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as respect for one another.
There’s also a drop-in program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m., as well as Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m., this program is available at no cost for those in grades 5 to 12.
Nicole Gabel, who works with the youth at The Crib, first visited the BGC in Airdrie when she was 10. As a teenager she volunteered with the BGC and now has come full circle, giving children the type of guidance she received as a young girl.
“The staff at the time were a huge help in my life because I went through a lot and they really helped me through and they basically are my family now,” said Gabel, while at The Crib on Feb. 27.
“It just became my family so I figured I should just work here and continue to grow and help people to grow like I did.”
Gabel explained that during her time with the BGC she learned things like leadership, cooperation and how to remain serious with the kids to teach them valuable lessons while also having a good time.
“It’s the best job ever,” she said with a smile. “All I do is I play games, watch movies and do crafts … it’s awesome.”
Gabel says the new Irricana location is great for the kids. So far they get between 15 and 20 kids per night in their drop-in program and about five kids in each of the registered programs.
“It’s really comfortable, the area and the kids, they’re really comfortable with the stuff we have here,” she said. “It’s relaxed and I feel like it’s not as stressful. And I like the new faces. Irricana has kids I don’t know and they’re pretty cool.”
Membership rates are $20 per year for kids between six and 12 years old, $10 per year for teenagers and family memberships are $40. To drop in at The Crib costs $5 per session.