DURANT, OKLAHOMA -- To great enthusiasm, Durant's first Boys and Girls Club was formally welcomed into the community this afternoon.
The program already hosts 180 kids, who go there for safe after-school care, but Michael Coffman with the Boys and Girls Club says the kids are gaining much more than that.
"We're focusing on academic achievement right now as our first tenant," Coffman said.
Durant ISD Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth works with the Boys and Girls Club and says the Club's focus on learning will help him and his staff perform their jobs better.
"One of the top three goals of the Boys and Girls Club is to help kids graduate high school, and obviously that's what we're all about," Simeroth said.
Eighty of the 180 kids here come from single parent homes.
"There are more and more single parent families and there are more and more grandparents raising their kids and so whenever we have them come here, they try to teach them some character skills," Simeroth said.
"There are lots of needs in this county and we can begin to fill some of those needs as time goes on. We're going to focus on Durant to begin with. We've got children coming from as far as Hugo to go to this Boys and Girls Club," Coffman said.
Coffman says their main goal is to help mold these kids into successful adults.
"If they grow up and be a successful mom and dad, they get a job, they get an education, then we've done our job," Coffman said.