Hampton Elementary's Boys Club offers education, exercise

Hampton Elementary School Ascension Boys Club participants enjoy learning computer programming and coding, as well as taking part in athletic activities and character building field-trips.

Although many students are sitting at home watching television and trying to stay cool during their summer break, a group of elementary and middle school aged children from multiple counties spend half their weekdays at the Hampton Elementary school learning advanced computer skills, mathematics and participating in athletic activities which improve both cognitive and physical skills.

Hampton Elementary Ascension Boys Club members learn vital personal skills which will assist them throughout their lives, including how to dress for success and developing job interview skills. Participants learn how to work with others as a team and work towards a common goal.

Boys light up when they are offered the chance to learn how to create graphic designs on computers, and their smiles grow when technology specialist Michael Devore teaches the boys how to create their own video games.

The Boys Club was created and organized by Ken Howell, of HES, along with assistance from Devore, Rob Hanna, Jody Smith, Curtis Mickens and Antauwan Wade. The program offers children an opportunity to remain mentally and physically active during summer months, as well as providing a much-needed break for parents. Boys also receive two nutritious meals throughout the day.

According to Howell, the program is beneficial to students in many ways, as well as fun.

“Parents sign their child up and then just drop them off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon,” said Howell. “It’s pretty easy.”

Throughout the school year, the program instills within the boys the importance of service, technology, college/career planning, entrepreneurship and life lessons. This year, the program has expanded to teach the boys about film editing, video recording and graphic design. The adult mentors of the program act as positive role models in many of the boys’ lives and group leaders strive to provide new opportunities for the children, such as trips to professional sporting events.

Over the summer, Hampton District One mandates students receive 10 hours of Moby Max online education classes. Each member of the Boys Club receives the mandated time online while attending the program during summer months.

In the past, the Boys Club has hosted a free soup meal for the Hampton community, volunteered to spend time with the elderly, volunteered to clean up their school and painted classrooms. Plans have been made to conduct another free food drive and members will paint and restore HES’s outside basketball court this year. 

As well as offering educational courses for children, Devore is currently offering adult computer literacy classes and athletic programs at the school.  Devore will teach older adults technology information in a way to allow older professionals to learn in a pressure free environment and at a relaxed pace. Howell and Wade, Boys Club physical fitness instructors, plan to offer workout sessions for adults who want to stay in shape and exercise throughout the year.

To enroll or find out more about the HES Ascension Boys Club, log on to their website at www.ascensionboysclub.com. Adult classes will be offered: July 10-July 13, July 17-July 20, July 24-July 27. The Boys Club website offers links for adult registration for classes, as well.

Program leaders are currently searching for business sponsorships; any person or business can sponsor a child to attend Boys Club for $25. Contact information for group leaders is available online, as well.