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After Governor Ron DeSantis announced Florida’s plans to reopen the state, businesses are slowly starting to resume operations while adjusting their models and strengthening security efforts to combat the further spread of the coronavirus pandemic. With the safety of its Club members and staff as the top priority, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County opened its doors to serve a limited number of children through the new 2020 Great Futures Academy Summer Program at no cost.


This new program takes the place of the organization’s annual Summer Program at all six of its Club locations Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Two sessions will be offered during the summer with the first session running June 1 to June 26 and the second session running from July 6 to July 31.


As the organization continues to monitor the evolving pandemic, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County has designed the 2020 Great Futures Academy Summer Program in accordance with the health and safety protocols set forth by federal and local officials including the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Florida Department of Health. As a result, the Boys & Girls Clubs must restrict the number of participants in each session to 333 children with the greatest academic needs in order to provide the highest quality of program at the highest level of safety. The limit was determined based on the number of rooms inside the organization’s Club facilities and the social distancing recommendations of maintaining gatherings of no more than 10 people at 6 feet apart. Availability ranges amongst Club locations and includes the following limit per session:


  • 90 openings at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club at 3100 Fruitville Road in Sarasota;
  • 54 openings the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club at 1790 21st Street in Sarasota;
  • 27 openings the Newtown Estates Park Boys & Girls Club at 2800 Newtown Boulevard in Sarasota;
  • 72 openings the Robert and Joan Lee Boys & Girls Club at 920 Gulf Coast Boulevard in Venice;
  • 63 openings the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club at 6851 S. Biscayne Drive in North Port; and
  • 27 openings the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Boys & Girls Club at 18 School Avenue in Arcadia.


At this time, children must be between the ages of 6 and 12 and attend a Title I school. Children who are currently enrolled in the Clubs’ First Responder Program are also eligible for program admittance, and do not need to attend a Title I school.


“As we continue to emerge from this crisis, youth need the Boys & Girls Clubs more than ever to help them get back on track and ready to succeed academically when schools reopen,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. “The decision to significantly reduce the number of children we can serve this summer was extremely difficult, as we know the need for positive youth development programs far exceeds the capacity in which our organization can safely deliver at this time. That’s why we must shift our operations in order to make the greatest impact on those children most at-risk for academic regression.”


The daily programs feature academic enrichment activities with supplemental curriculum designed to empower youth to excel in school, become leaders, adopt healthy habits and plan for success after high school graduation. Meals and snacks are also served to program participants at no additional cost.


The organization is also providing exploratory summer programs to a limited number of teens including academic enrichment, entrepreneurial training, leadership development, financial literacy, civic engagement and workforce development. Click here for more information. 


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