FOR SOME, IT'S the homework help and adult supervision. For others, the games and social interaction. The needs may vary, but more than 100 children and teen-agers have found the same solution - the Glen Burnie Boys and Girls Club.
"We're having a great time here," says club director Candy Marcum. "The kids and parents love it. For some parents, this is their after-school care, and the kids are here five days a week. Other kids come here because they are bored at home."
Sponsored by the Salvation Army, the after-school club opened in November. By the end of December, it had 15 participants. But eventually word spread, and the number of registered students now totals 129. And there's room for more. Marcum hopes word continues to get around and membership continues to rise.
Weekday sessions begin with a homework program from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The sessions continue with organized games and recreational activities.
Educational programs such as "Smart Moves," which helps teach decision-making skills, and "Kids in Control," which addresses safety issues, are also included in the daily club sessions.
A new outdoor basketball court is being installed, and renovations on the building's second floor will allow space for a computer lab and library. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and children can remain at the club until 8 p.m.
The students who are already members come from throughout Glen Burnie and the surrounding areas. Pupils from Richard Henry Lee Elementary and Corkran Middle walk the short distance to the Salvation Army building at 511 S. Crain Highway.
Club members also come from other Glen Burnie schools, including Woodside, Point Pleasant, Marley, Oakwood, Southgate, Glendale and Quarterfield elementary schools, Marley Middle School and Glen Burnie High School.
The local club is patterned after the national Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs, which also are affiliated with Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Since the program is largely grant-funded, the price is definitely right. Each child pays $25 annually. And the deal is even sweeter for those who enroll by May 31. The "May Mayhem Membership Special" provides a free membership until June 30, and students will receive a free week at one of the Salvation Army's two overnight camps in Maryland.
The local club also is planning a summer day camp. The cost will be $93 for the week for nonmembers.
Members receive a 40 percent discount on the rate. According to Marcum, the summer camp will include a mix of recreation and education.
"For one hour each day, we'll focus on a specific educational skill like English or math," she said. "And there will be social skills development programs, and both team and individual recreational activities."
Campers also will enjoy field trips to such as amusement parks and bowling alleys.
The summer day camp is open to children ages 6 through 13. Some junior staff positions are available for older students.