Families left without after school care following the closing of the Early ACE program last summer may soon have a new option.
Abilene Boys and Girls Club Director Mark Young, acting CEO of the Brownwood Boys and Girls Club, said the organization is in negotiations with Early ISD officials to bring an after school program to the district after the Early Ace program shutdown when federal officials rejected its 21st Century Grant application.
“We have a great opportunity. They asked and we had a great discussion with Early,” Young told the Kiwanis Club of Brownwood Thursday afternoon.
Early ISD has been without an afterschool program since the ACE program came to an end following the rejection of its grant application and wrapped up its final summer program in July. At the time of the closure, Early ACE Program Engagement Specialist Bridget Bean estimated 300 to 400 students would be without afterschool supervision upon the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
“We serve anywhere from 300 to 400. It’s a lot bigger than they realize,” said Bean in mid-July. “When people think afterschool, they think we have 20 to 25 kids in a room. We’re on the primary, elementary and middle school campus and they are pretty much all over every campus after school.”
“They lost their afterschool
program and that is an issue where they would love to see us run a club in Early,” Young said. “That would be fantastic. We’re not out the cost of a facility or anything. We’re just sitting there and running the program. Hopefully, by our request and their request, we will visit that in January.”
Young said he has seen a dramatic shift in the staff at the Brownwood Boys and Girls Club, estimating an 80 percent turnover from its previous staff.
Young said much of the new staff are “single mothers” and with that comes the added benefit of having a staff with a more caring, but structured environment with a focus on safety.
Another update Young provided was the replacement of former Brownwood Boys and Girls Club CEO Danny Willingham, who served for more than 20 years and announced his retirement in May citing health concerns and wanting to spend more time with family.
Young said he expects to have a new CEO in place sometime in November and will work with the Brownwood Boys and Girls Club governing board to make sure the candidate matches the board’s philosophy and goals.
“Where do we go from here? Well, hopefully, in another couple of months we’ll have a new CEO,” Young said. “Hopefully in a couple of months we will be able to introduce you to a new CEO. The board is working on a job description on what they’re looking for and what they want.”