NK Boys & Girls Club finally gets its day

KINGSTON — Since receiving its first donation of $500 nearly eight months ago, the North Kitsap Boys & Girls Club is finally getting on its feet — $20,000 later.

Members of the NKB&G club support committee and volunteers are calling all North End seventh, eighth and ninth graders to join them at the grand opening of the after-school program Feb. 18 at Kingston Junior High.

Kids will be able to register with the club, become members and participate in activities, such as crafts, athletics and games.

The program will run from 2:15-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday during the school year.

While the support committee of parents and community volunteers has been organizing this effort over the past two years, a director has been brought in to plan the activities and run the club.

Nicole Settelmeyer, who is currently in charge of the after-schools program at a local junior high, said she was thrilled to take on the new group.

“It was a position that I’m currently doing at Fairview Junior High in Bremerton, so I’m doing all the same type of things here, so it’s totally right up my alley as far as after-school programming,” she said.

Settelmeyer runs After Hours at Fairview, which is similar to the after-school program Kingston Junior High had a few years ago. The Fairview gatherings are funded by a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

For now, Settelmeyer will be splitting her time between both junior highs until the end of the school year.

While Settelmeyer is not quite sure what she wants to do with the Kingston group yet, she noted, “the biggest plan is to provide a fun, safe environment after school.”

But she is aware of the strong community and school support behind the club.

“That is really key,” Settelmeyer said.

Because of the popularity of the KJH building for group meetings, NKB&G Club co-chair Dan Price said the group will probably be shuffled around the school until a more permanent site can be established.

“The kids don’t care where it is, as long as it’s fun,” Settelmeyer said.

Price said he has no idea how many kids will show up on Wednesday but he hopes to have an average of 40 to 60 kids a day once the program gets more established.

Initially, the after-school program will While Settelmeyer will be running the club, the committee will continue to work on fund-raising efforts.

The initial goal was to raise $50,000 by January but supporters said, despite the shortfall, they could start and continue the program through the year.

“We have enough money to get to the end of the year,” Price said. “We hope to raise $50,000 or $60,000 over the summer.”

The club recently raised about $500 selling buttons at Central Market in Poulsbo and will try to do the same again from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the same location. Individual and corporate donations have also been flooding in, bringing the club’s funds to nearly $20,000.

But the biggest chunk of change may be on its way.

At the NKB&G Club support committee meeting Feb. 12, Edmonds Boys & Girls Club Director Bill Dalziel announced that the national Boys & Girls Club office is applying for a $25,000 grant from the Department of Justice just for the North Kitsap club.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s a good sign.”

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