San Tan Valley Area Information

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Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley Closes Queen Creek Branch

bgcaz

For the past 14 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley (now Boys & Girls Club of the Valley - BGCAZ) has been working the Town of Queen Creek to provide high quality, high impact youth programs, educational enrichment and sports leagues programs in the Founder's Park location.

Key to our after-school program's success has been the partnership and transportation provided by the Queen Creek Unified School District. Approximately, 60% of the Club's average daily attendees utilized the transportation provided by the District. In March, BGCAZ was notified that the District would no longer able to provide transportation for students, drastically impacting the ability for youth to access the Club. For safety purposes, we require that our Club buses include two staff members on a BGCAZ bus transporting youth. With only one Club bus for 12 youth and 2 adults, we could not replace the loss of the QCUSD transportation. This transportation challenge is not unique to Queen Creek. In fact, BGCAZ has evaluated using commercial transportation for students, but the costs for this are simply prohibitive.

The coronavirus crisis has added to the this challenge for BGCAZ. The Town of Queen Creek's budget is strained due to the pandemic. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley covers more than 65% of the operating costs with philanthropic donations from around the Valley. To protect staff and members, we have shifted our staffing ratios and the costs associated with Club operations during the crisis are approximately 150% of our typical operations, in additional to the increased cleaning and janitorial costs.

Given the loss of transportation, safety concerns and the current economic climate, Boys & Girls Clubs has made the very difficult decision to close the Queen Creek Club at Founder's Park permanently. All staff members from this Club have been offered positions in other Clubs and were personally notified in advance of the plans.

Marcia Mintz, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley explained, "Closing a Club is a painful for decision for us an organization. Queen Creek's growth and family demographic make it an ideal community for our high impact, affordable out-of-school-time programming. Unfortunately, the transportation, safety and budget challenges have all hit us at the same time and we don't have a way to operate at this location moving forward. We look forward to finding alternate locations to serve our wonderful member families and all of Queen Creek."

BGCAZ appreciates the long partnership with the Town and the School District and will actively pursue other locations to provide services for families. Queen Creek Club members can use their membership at any BGCAZ location. BGCAZ is working on plans to open summer programs in the coming weeks around the East Valley and a complete list of Club programs and fees are available online at www.bgcaz.org or parents can contact the Clubs for more information.

The Gilbert Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs re-opened on Monday, May 4th to serve East Valley families and the Apache Junction Club is also operating. More Clubs will be opening in the coming days as staff is hired and trained.

"Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley has been proud to serve Queen Creek's families for more than 14 years by providing award-winning programs, delivered by positive, caring youth development professionals. We thank you for your support and engagement with us. Our commitment is to empower young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible members of the community," concluded Mintz.
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