Samantha Elliott has only been in the position of area coordinator for the White PIne Boys & Girls Club just shy of a year, but, she has expanded the program into a place where youth in the community are now asking their parents to sign them up so they can be a part of it.
A program where young people can participate in a wide range of programs and activities that will support academics, encourage healthy lifestyles and build character and citizenship.
A program that was criticial for White Pine County opened in the summer of 2017 with it’s first location at the White Pine Middle School. The program began to grow, reaching farther into the community with a location at David E. Norman Elementary, where it then spread out to the White Pine High school and McGill grade school.
Relocating to Ely after being with the Boys & Girls Club for the past 11 years was a very huge step for Elliott. “Uprooting, and relocating my life that I had known for so long, it was scary, but it was an adventure I was excited to embark upon.
Elliott reports that a year ago, the location at David E. Norman Elementary would see twenty youth a day, In November, the program at David E. Norman had 450 children between the morning and after school programs. A significant increase in the need and desire for the program.
Numbers report that from June to present, the Boys & Girls Club have 400 active members. The numbers have grown in such size that the program now has about 150-170 participants each day across all four locations. “I’m so shocked my how much it’s growing,” Elliott said.
Partnering with the White Pine County School District has really been a key piece to the puzzle Elliott said. The district pays for tutoring on Fridays at the Boys & Girls Club. Field Trips are scheduled throughout the year, from swimming at the aquatic center, bowling, a field trip to Desert Rose Ceramics or the Charcoal Ovens depending on the weather conditions. Elliott explains Fun Friday is always a popular event, where they even had a dress-up day that usually has a theme to it.
The program the provides homework help, STEM programming, weekly field trips, disc golf, archery, and more.
Dinner is provided to the evening participants, breakfast in the morning program, snacks in the afternoon, all nutritional meals.
This year one of the elective class selections at the White Pine Middle School is provided by the Boys & Girls Club and is called Elective Recreation.
Club members earn points throughout their membership, where they can save them up and utilize them for a pizza party, donuts or other fun programs within the program. This years gift to each member is a Boys & Girls Club sweatshirt.
Members come from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, although it is reported that 41 percent of club families have a household income of less than $40,000 a year.
This leads to the club’s active role in their fundraising efforts to assist the youth who fall into the low-income bracket. The club’s motto is that no child is every turned away. And basic needs of all members are met whether it’s coats, hygiene or food.
The Nevada Northern Railway has offered a special train ride on Dec. 14, at 4:30 p.m, where a percentage of proceeds will go the Boys and Girls Club for each ticket purchase.
Elliott comments on the giving spirit this community has. “White Pine County has been my home this past year and everyday the community amazes me. Whether it be the supportive school district, passionate donors, or unique members, I am happy to come to work every day and give back to my community.”