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Club offers fun and education
Loud and happy sounds filled the gym of the Terrill Thomas building on Johnston Street Friday as kids from all over Brunswick enjoyed their afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club.

Little Jamarell Jackson, age 5, stood out from the crowd of basketball players, showing off his skills.

Under the leg, a dribble behind the back, and then he tossed the ball into the air for a lay-up, making the shot despite his small stature. He was all smiles.

Behind him, 10-year-old Zorana Mincey was practicing her free throws and chatting with friends.

"I love coming here because it's so fun," she said. "We get to dance, play pool and Xbox, shoot hoops, and I make a lot of friends."

But it's not just all play.

"We learn a lot of things too, like we just talked about Jamaica and a couple other countries," Zorana said

Summer is a busy time at the Terrill Thomas facility, the largest of the club's locations in Brunswick. About 200 children come through the place during the summer, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., to play games and more.

Teiura Quick, program director at the club, says all the units in the area are busy.

"We have clubs at Needwood Middle, Risley Middle, Jane Macon Middle and Glynn Villa. There's another in McIntyre Court, one on St. Simons Island, and there's also the Corell Teen Center," she said. "We have so many locations, so instead of coming to just one building, they can be closer to their homes and we can help more kids."

The Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia serves kids ages 5 through 12, Quick said, and the teen center serves ages 13 to 18.

She said there's plenty of recreational and learning opportunities in addition to the pool and foosball tables, video games and coloring stations.

"We're hosting a dodgeball tournament right now, and a kickball tournament and physically-fit competition are set to start soon," she said. "We have a lot of interactive programs, everything from cooking to reading. Students have a chance to go on field trips every day as well."

Quick herself has been with the club for more than nine years, having joined when she was 16 and continued to return to work for them. She feels it's a great place for shaping a positive future for children.

"For one thing, it keeps them busy. It's a safe place and it keeps them out of trouble. But they're also learning," she said. "It helps them learn to be interactive with kids of all ages from different backgrounds, different settings.

"When you're a citizen in a community, you need to be well-rounded and I truly think this club makes that happen."

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.



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