REDMOND, OR -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Redmond-Terrebonne continues to look for ways to manage the explosive growth they’ve experienced over the past year. Executive Director Jenny O’Keefe tells KBND that in just the first week of fall operations, Redmond has averaged 77 kids a day; last year’s peak days saw no more than 65. However, in Terrebonne, it's a different story. "The numbers in Terrebonne have remained consistently low. There are about 30 kiddos that attend regularly, and those numbers have stayed consistent since January," says O'Keefe. Families were told Monday that the Terrebonne club would close at the end of October. "We value those families and we want to make sure we can continue to serve them at the Redmond site. We’re going to work out a way to be able to transport the Terrebonne kids and the Tom McCall kids. Tom McCall is another school that right now, we’re unable to provide transportation to, since we don’t have a large enough vehicle to do that."
But, O'Keefe says families in Terrebonne won't be left out in the cold. "So, we’ve partnered with both the school district and Parks and Recreation. Adventure Quest, through Parks and Rec, will be taking over the morning and after-school program immediately when we finish our program on October 30. Parks and Rec will take over immediately, on November second."
She says the decision to shutdown the Terrebonne site wasn't made lightly, but was the best option to manage the needs of the clubs as a whole. "One of the most important things for us is to make sure we have a low adult to child ratio. Our entire mission is built on relationships with kids and in order to be there for those kids in a really individual way, we need to make sure that we have the number of staff to meet that need. We do, right now have assistants in each of our program areas." O'Keefe says Terrebonne staff will be diverted to the Redmond location to help balance those staffing needs. The board has not decided what will happen to the club located at Terrebonne Community School; she says it's in need of about $50,000 in repairs and maintenance.
She adds, "We are looking at the option that we are going to have to add a second site. Unfortunately, the location of the Terrebonne site just does not meet the need of the whole community. It does meet the need of the Terrebonne community and we have been committed to helping them with that. Unfortunately, we have to look at the whole community because that’s our mission. And, in order to balance that, if we do add another site in the next year or two, we’re going to have to look at more of a central location to be able to do that."
Other changes are coming in November, as well. O'Keefe says weekday operations at the Redmond site will expand to 8 p.m. and they will soon provide a special evening program for teen athletes, both for an additional fee. She expects the clubs to be open weekends, starting in 2016. O'Keefe admits all this expansion costs money and she hopes business sponsors will continue to step up and support the non-profit, so full-day operations can remain free for registered families on the days there is no school.