New Boys & Girls Club programs opened for the first time Monday afternoon at Rainbow Village in Largo and at Dunedin Highland Middle School.
The large-open club room was filled with children working on homework and playing games.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast took over the youth programming in Dunedin and Largo after the Sheriff's Police Athletic League program moved to its centrally-located Lealman complex.
The child-centered Boys & Girls Club program allows the children to have fun and "helps them achieve whatever goal they have whether its personal, academic or athletic. The goal is to encourage their overall development," said Club Director Andrea Nix.
The middle school program in Dunedin "is more of a sports club with flag football, volleyball and other team sports," Nix said.
The program in Largo's Ridgecrest area has separate meeting times for elementary and middle school students. The program serves children ages 5-18.
The elementary children start with a "power hour," which includes help with homework. Each day has special activities and snack time.
The Largo middle school program includes sports and career building. The center helps the students with job-oriented activities such as learning to write a resume, Nix said.
"Academic success is very important. We get creative as possible to get them to learn," Nix said.
"The Boys and Girls Clubs have programs covering five very important core areas: Character & Leadership Development, Education & Career Development, Health & Life Skills, the Arts and Sports/Fitness/Recreation," wrote Debra Johnson, executive director of the Pinellas County Housing Authority in an email. "We know that through this partnership and the development of these programs we will be providing the best possible opportunities to our youth."