The Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland County will have a safer facility thanks to a donation from Clearwater Paper.
The Boys & Girls Club recently received $62,000 from the company to build fences, new doors and keypads and increased safety measures in case of an active shooter scenario.
During a recent, self-initiated safety audit, the Boys & Girls Club discovered opportunities to improve on its child safety practices. Representatives from Clearwater Paper Corporation met with club staff to develop a speedy response that would not require a reallocation of the club’s operating funds.
As a part of the enhancements to the Sumter Street facility in Shelby, new fencing will be erected around all outdoor areas not currently enclosed. This will increase the size of play spaces and make sure unauthorized individuals and stray animals do not have access to children. It will also provide an extra layer of security to prevent a child from leaving the premises without permission if they attempt to do so. Fencing added to the side of the facility will redirect foot traffic away from the street and busy parking areas to allow children to exit the rear of the building into a secure playground.
“Supervising large groups of children, especially in open spaces, can be challenging. You have to be proactive when it comes to safety and not wait until something unfortunate happens to take action,” said Keeynan Pharr, operations director for Boys & Girls Club Cleveland County. “We’re excited that Clearwater Paper shares this sentiment and is willing to partner with us to keep kids safe.”
On the inside of the building, aging doors will be refitted with new automatic closers and keypad locks. This will provide greater security in the unfortunate situation of an intruder or active shooter scenario. Children will be further protected by ensuring that unauthorized areas such as supply closets and unused classrooms are closed automatically and kept off-limits.
“Clearwater Paper Shelby is very happy to be able to help the Boys and Girls Club keep kids safe. We want to make sure we are always a good partner to the community and can positively impact people’s lives,” Chris Kelm, Clearwater Paper plant manager, said in a press release.The Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland County is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization serving children ages 6 to 18 in Cleveland County.
Its mission is to enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The club operates eight program sites serving more than 500 children across all four school zones in Cleveland County. Every day students rotate through an array of activities such as homework tutoring, arts and crafts, music, computers, STEM, SMART Moves, Healthy Habits, Triple Play Sports, and more. Programs are designed to be fun and engaging while providing valuable life skills and character development experiences. Children learn resiliency techniques, strategies to resist risky behaviors, and how to contribute positively to their community and society.
Clearwater Paper is a supplier of private brand tissue to major retailers, including grocery, club, mass merchants and discount stores. In addition, the company produces bleached paperboard used by quality-conscious printers and packaging converters and offers services that include custom sheeting, slitting, and cutting.