Student earns credit for volunteering at Boys and Girls Club

Alicia Brown

Alicia Brown

Penny Brandt, a junior from Granite Falls, Minn., first heard about the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings through one of her classes at SDSU.

When she needed field experience for her human development class, Brandt knew just where to volunteer.

“I first heard about it through class, and I like working with kids,” said Brandt, a human development and family studies major.

The Boys and Girls Club of Brookings first opened its location on sixth Street on Oct. 30, 2003.

The program operates on the Brookings school district schedule, and is open from the school’s close until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

“If the school dismisses early, we’re open,” said Chris Wiegert, director.

It gives children in first grade and older a chance to play after school in a safe environment and do homework while spending time with their friends.

Along with volunteers, the Boys and Girls Club also has a paid staff to supervise the children.

To become a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings, Brandt underwent a background check and paid a $10 fee.

“We run a background check on anyone who wants to volunteer with the kids,” Wiegert said.

Volunteers are required to attend an orientation session. After volunteering for more than 50 hours, the organization will reimburse volunteers for their initial $10 fee.

Brandt volunteered throughout the spring semester for her field experience, and she wants to go back this year.

“Hopefully I’ll have time to go back,” Brandt said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Described as an after-school program, the Boys and Girls Club has a game room, a craft room and an education room where students can do homework.

Brandt spent most of her volunteer time with local school kids.

Nearing their first anniversary, the Boys and Girls Club is looking for volunteers this fall.

“We could use a lot of volunteers, I’d say 30 to 50,” Wiegert said.

To volunteer your time, call the Boys and Girls Club at 692-3333.