Boys and Girls Clubs around Iowa and the nation are extending a special welcome to children in military families, as many get along without parents called to active duty. John Tursi is director of the Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids.They’re always trying to find new members who need the help, but Tursi says in this time of war they particularly want to open the doors to kids whose family members are in the service. Brian Meyer is executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dubuque and says with only one parent at home, they understand military families have additional needs. The club decided to offer free memberships to families with parents deployed into the service. Meyer says right now the Dubuque club serves from 75 to 200 kids a day and serves an evening meal to many of them every day. Many of the kids’ families have one or both parents working, and lots of the kids need the supper because they come right from school and stay at the club until closing time. They have tutoring and evening reading programs, a Technology Center with 35 computers and 150 educational and game programs, as well as a gym, b-b gun and archery practice, a fitness room and a wood shop. Meyer says for families having financial trouble, the ten-dollar yearly membership fee is waived, and it’ll be free for the kids from military families, too.
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