For nearly 20 years, the Aztec Boys & Girls Club operated a Teen Center for Teens and Tweens (6th Grade to 18 Years old) in the old Boys & Girls Club Building on Simonds. The building was originally constructed as a church in the 1950’s by volunteers, with the gym being added back when it was the Boys’ Club in the 1970’s. Since the opening of the Main Aztec Boys & Girls Club, with City help, in 2000, the Simonds site has only served our older kids.
However, the years took its toll and the Simonds facility is now facing major repair costs. What is more, teen attendance had declined. Parents weren’t excited by their kids walking across Aztec Blvd, a state highway, to get to the Club from school, and the deteriorating building didn’t fill anyone with a sense of pride. What is more, operating and repair costs were exploding during tough economic times.
In the Summer 2017, we made a decision to seek a better home for our Tweens and Teens. With the blessing of the Aztec School System and the help from leadership at Koogler Middle School, we opened the 2017-2018 After School program AT Koogler.
Room 808 now serves as home to a reinvigorated Teen Center! Our daily numbers have DOUBLED over last year, now serving 30 or more kids a day! Kids like CJ, Kaitlynn, and Damon can leave their classrooms and simply walk across campus. There they get homework help, play some ball, participate in programs doing art, science, or “good citizenship” activities. Gabe and Emily are going to spend some time on the computers, but they will also go out and get some exercise. Charles, Sophia and Devon might play a game, and in the process learn a little about sportsmanship.
Programs for Teens and Tweens are going strong with Aztec Boys & Girls Club, and we hope to expand these efforts even further next year! Come have Fun!