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Rockford’s Boys and Girls Club expanding to help at-risk youth

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) – A local non-profit announced it’s expanding so it can provide more services to those it serves.

Leaders of the Fairgrounds Valley chapter of the Rockford Area Boys and Girls Club say the new space will let them better serve those on the west side of Rockford. Rockford 7-year-old Juterryion Aleder is excited to have a larger place to come to after school.

“We can do a whole bunch of stuff, like, we can play basketball, we can play tag, and we can run fast because it’s big,” said 7-year-old Juterryion Aleder.

The kids and staff are moving to the former St. Paul Lutheran School, across from Fairground Valley.

“this is one of the best days of my life,” said Fairgrounds Valley Boys and Girls Club Director, Carnell Brown. “I’m happy, not just for myself, but for our children. I’m all out of words.”

Brown says more, and more kids have become interested in the non-profits services, and they grew faster than their old space would allow.

“We were in a small building for three years and we were making it happen, through schooling, through teaching, through sports, almost everything, and this is it. This is it,” said Brown. “This is going to be the best thing that ever happen to our kids.”

“Similar to our Blackhawk facility, I envision 75 to 100 kids a night coming through this building,” said Boys and Girls Club of Rockford President and CEO, Clifford Stoner. “Probably a membership of 4 to 500.”

The new building will also provide room to focus on academics and homework help. Basketball player Chris Pittman says he’s ready to improve himself on the new basketball court.

“What can you do better here, than what you couldn’t do on the streets?,” said Pittman. “Learn more. Be more and do more.”

The doors to the new facility will open Saturday, September 3rd.

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