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Boys and Girls Club

Clockwise from left, Raymaah Ronquillo, Ava Spearing, Brenda Jennings, Alexis Lancaster and Olivia Molina all go for the "ball" during a game of balloon volleyball Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Boys and Girls Club of Magic Valley in Twin Falls Idaho.

PAT SUTPHIN TIMES-NEWS

RUPERT — The Minidoka County School District and the city of Rupert are working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Magic Valley to bring a club to Rupert.

The club will serve children in kindergarten through fifth grade in Minidoka County.

“It really gives parents peace of mind that their children are in a safe place,” said Bri Owen, director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Magic Valley.

The organization is applying for a grant to expand its services into Rupert. It currently has locations in Twin Falls and Buhl.

“Whether we get the grant or not we want and plan to expand services out there,” Owen said.

The amount of the 21st Century Learning grant will be based on the number of children that will be served. The program’s goal, Owen said, is to serve 101 children.

“There is a lot of need for this,” said Michele Widmier, student achievement director for the school district. “We are excited to have it be part of the community. There aren’t a lot of options for activities for students in the county.”

Organizers should find out in April whether they receive the grant.

Owen said the plan is to open a Boys and Girls Club center in the building where the office of the Mini-Cassia Shelter Haven of Hope is now, and operate a program at Rupert Elementary School, to start.

The afterschool program will be the first program implemented in September.

The program runs after school until 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Children choose different programs each quarter. There is also homework help, snack time and monitored free time to be active.

The programs provide focused activities and academic learning.

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The club hopes to eventually expand to offer programs to middle school and high school-age students.

Busing will be provided from the student’s school to the Rupert center or Rupert elementary, and then parents will pick the child up from there, Owen said.

Once the club is established it will also offer programs through the summer.

Under the grant there will be no cost for students. Some of the additional activities offered have costs, but the club offers scholarships.

“No student is ever turned down because they can’t pay,” Owen said.

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