LAYTON — After more than a decade of trying, Val Stratford hopes to start a Boys & Girls Club in this community this year.
Stratford, former head of the Layton Community Action Council, said negotiations are under way to secure a location for a local club.
He hopes programming for a group of up to 100 kids will be available as part of the opening.
Besides the issue of location, Stratford and other organizers face a funding challenge to get the club going.
He said it will cost approximately $100,000 to fund programs and he said organizers are only half way to that goal.
There is a chapter of the club in Clearfield that Stratford helped to initiate several years ago.
Efforts to get a club started in Layton before that were unsuccessful.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America is based in Atlanta and offer a range of programs that include character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation, as well as programs aimed at diversity and prevention.
Stratford says the growing number of at-risk kids in the northern end of the county suggests something needs to be done. He thinks a Boys & Girls Club is the best option.
He hopes to have programming from 2-3 p.m., immediately after school, and also offer a 6 p.m. program and option for kids to engage in activities, potentially do homework and to have a place to stay off the streets.
Pressed on why he so passionate about the club and what it can do for at-risk kids, Stratford said he has seen the difference the programs can make for kids. He called being an advocate for the cause a “feel-good situation.”
Forming a local club is an outgrowth of the Communities That Care initiative, Stratford said. The CTC objectives have been embraced as part of the Layton City Council objectives.