This was written back in the Fall of 2020..
These are times we should be extra-proud of the resiliency of our kids.
School is different, there’s no sleepovers or playdates, sitting on Santa’s knee is cancelled, and there’s times when the adults seem extra-worried.
There’s a lot going on, but the Boys and Girls Club here in Peachland has remained a safe place throughout this pandemic. Richelle Leckey says even in the early stages, they were able to remain open so kids of essential workers had someone to care for them during the day.
“We’re an essential service,” says Leckey, who is the community engagement coordinator for the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.
“We know there are people who need us, and for a variety of reasons whether they’re working or they have their own challenges in the home and it’s necessary for the kids to be in our care.”
Here in Peachland, the after school program is a happy group of kids who do crafts, tell stories and play fun games. Leckey says like other local groups, the pandemic has hit them hardest when it comes to fundraising. Usually, they’re able to pull in about $4,000 to $5,000 a year, thanks to their annual movie in the park and their West Jet raffles.
“That money helps support all the supplies and equipment and things that we need to run the program in Peachland – so we’ve had to be really wise and try and figure how to stretch the dollar and ensure that we’re still providing high quality programs,” she says.
The Boys and Girls Club was thrilled to learn they’re one of the beneficiaries of Peachland’s Light-Up Virtual Gala, held in December. The event raised a little over $12,400, and the amount will be shared with three other community groups.
The pandemic has taken an emotional toll on so many people, Leckey adds, and that’s why it’s important the Boys and Girls Clubs are able to continue on.
“The club itself – and being able to come to the club – is critical for the kids’ well-being, not only for the engagement with staff, but with their peers,” she says.
“We’ve talked a lot about kids in isolation and the importance of being able to engage in person with people. So the club itself is all about relationships and strengthening those relationships and helping give kids the inspiration and the drive to want to learn and grow and become amazing people.”
Here’s a message from the Boys and Girls Club about their Peachland programming:
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Okanagan is a leading service provider of programs and services for children in Peachland. From Preschool classes to After School programs, activities for youth, and community events, there is always something great happening at the Club!
At Peachland Preschool, we believe in the importance of play in an environment where children learn, explore, create and grow. Being located in Peachland Elementary school allows preschoolers to experience a school setting which ensures a smooth transition into Kindergarten with their peers.
The After School program takes place at the Peachland Club for children Kindergarten to Grade 5. Our programs are designed to provide a safe, nurturing, inclusive environment where children will be engaged in activities including creative arts, sports, personal growth, and life skills development. Transportation is provided from Peachland Elementary and kids receive a nutritious snack each day. Programs are also available on professional days and school breaks. Stay tuned for information on exciting summer camps and recreation programs coming soon!
For more information, contact us at 250-767-2515 (250-768-3049 for preschool inquiries). You can also visit out our website www.boysandgirlsclubs.ca and navigate to the Peachland Page or find us on Facebook and check out why the Boys and Girls Club is a ‘good place to be’!