LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS and Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana have formed a new new partnership for at-risk youth, hoping to create a safe environment for young kids.

Jalyn Clarkson, a senior in high school, has grown up at the Boys and Girls Club in Newburg. Now, he mentors younger kids.

"Come here and see how you like it at first, see what kinds of friends you'll meet here," Clarkson said. "There are a lot of good friends, a lot of good people you can talk to, a lot of good homework help they'll probably be interested in." 

The Boys and Girls Club is already reaching 160 kids a day in Newburg. But starting Tuesday, all children in the community from grades 6 to 8 can enroll as Club members at the new Frost-Stuart location inside the school on Valley Station Road. 

"We're hoping to be around  50 at the end of the school year," said Kelley Luckett, the site director of BGCK. "We're starting with about 15-20 already signed up before we start. There is a just a lot of need in that community. It was expressed by JCPS they would like us to help in that community first."

In addition to basketball, there will be academic help and judo, and it's all free. The Louisville Ballet with also help with the club.

"One of the things we pride ourselves on is having a place to be where they are not on the streets," Luckett said. "So if we can keep kids in the club and give them fun activities where they want to be there, they're less likely to engage in risky behaviors outside."

Applications can be completed online or in the club.

"Our mission is to reach the kids who need us the most, and sometimes that means we need to go to them," Luckett said. "We're really excited about that opportunity." 

BGCK already serves about 2,500 kids between the ages of 6 and 18 at five clubs. Plans include operating the Frost-Stuart Club next school year with hopes of expansion to other schools.

BGCK will offer programming in three areas: Academic Success, Good Character & Leadership, and Healthy Lifestyles. The organization says club members will have access to the school's classrooms, gym, library and computer lab, and they'll get an after-school snack.

"JCPS is excited to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, creating opportunities for our students to not only build on what they've learned during the day, but to make that learning fun, intentional and relevant," JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens said.

BGCK President and CEO, Jennifer Helgeson says, "BGCK is thrilled to expand our scope of services, providing even more youth with a quality Club." 

The organization's five clubs are in the Newburg, Shawnee and Parkland neighborhoods in Louisville and in Jeffersonville and New Albany, Indiana.

The Frost-Stuart location will operate from 2:30 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday during the school year.

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