Photo by Lorie Palmer
TOP: (L-R) Kids Klub employees Cindy Godfrey and Kristi Keeler speak at the Nov. 7 groundbreaking; ABOVE Dawson Stewart, grandson of one of Kids Klub original founders, Laurie Stewart, was poised and ready with a shovel at the Nov. 7 groundbreaking. Dawson represents the future of Kids Klub in Grangeville, and the legacy those early supporters have left for the community.
As of Tuesday, November 14, 2017
“Four years ago, we were at our maximum capacity. Since then, there has been a waiting list for the after-school program,” said Kids Klub Program Director Kristi Keeler.
Keeler spoke to about 60 people who gathered Tuesday, Nov. 7, for the Kids Klub, Inc., building groundbreaking. Arnzen Building Construction our of Cottonwood, owned by Morris Arnzen, was awarded the contract to start work on the 4,016 square-foot building at the 506 South A Street site (adjacent to Grangeville Elementary Middle School).
Kids Klub was founded in 1996 by Laurie Stewart, Mary Schmidt, Greg FitzMaurice and others who saw a need for children to be cared for after school.
“It was found that 70 percent of parents work, and our community wanted to do better for those kids who needed a safe environment,” Keeler said.
At the time, the Kids Klub was located in a building on the north side of town. The program offered several benefits to kids including academic assistance, life and social skills training and expanding horizons through enrichment opportunities.
In 2002, in order to comply with a federal grant, the Kids Klub moved into GEMS where it has since occupied two classrooms.
“GEMS enrollment has since gone up, at the same time Kids Klub outgrew the space,” Keeler said. “This fused at the perfect time,” to allow for planning of a building of its own.
In 2012, Kids Klub was the recipient of a contribution from the estate of Orrin and Eleanora Webb. These funds, along with a Community Development Block Grant obtained with assistance from the City of Grangeville and Clearwater Economic Development Association, and grant funding from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation and the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, have made the dream of constructing a building a reality.
“Of course, we have had excellent support from our wonderful community,” added Cindy Godfrey, Kids Klub executive director. The organization will continue to fund-raise for the various costs that are not incorporated in the current funded plans, including appliances, fencing, landscaping, paving and the playground.
Currently, Kids Klub serves about 40 children. The new facility will allow the organization to have 75 children in its main after-school program and continue with the additional offshoot programs which include Kinder-Ready Club, KK summer camps, Xperience Xpeditions and sponsoring Missoula Children’s Theater each year.
Kids Klub is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Project manager for the building is Joe Bonn. Grand opening is set for June 2018.
To donate or for questions contact Keeler at 208-983-2285 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.