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By MATT CRANE
The Boys and Girls Club of Starkville did more than just help children build wooden projects on Thursday. They helped build a community.
Lowe‚Äôs brought their Build and Grow program to the Boys and Girls Club of Starkville‚Äôs center Thursday to assist in the construction of wooden projects modeled after popular Dreamworks Animation films like Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.
Executive Director Joyce Ellenwood became aware of the store‚Äôs program when she took her son to one of the in-store scheduled events one weekend.
‚ÄúI just thought this would be a great idea to bring to the club,‚ÄĚ Ellenwood said. ‚ÄúThe skills they can learn are just great, because they can put something together and really own what they‚Äôre building.‚ÄĚ
Ellenwood said the over 20 third and fourth grade students who participated were focused in finishing their projects, and was thankful to Lowe‚Äôs for partnering with the club for the event.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a great relationship to build with a local business in the area,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre very proactive in terms of engaging the community and sharing what the club is doing.‚ÄĚ
Ellenwood said she felt at times members of the community were unsure about what the Boys and Girls Club does, but said the focus and mission was youth development.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre building and stressing on things like characters, leadership and academics,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre raising these kids up to be the future responsible citizens of this community.‚ÄĚ
Ellenwood said the club serves children from the ages of 6 to 18, and is grateful for the involvement she has seen from parents.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs very important to keep them involved and in tune,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúWe have such a great group of parents.‚ÄĚ
Along with special projects and events like the Lowe‚Äôs Build and Grow program, Ellenwood said the Boys and Girls Club offers classrooms, a computer lab, snack area, gymnasium and an outdoor play area that she is hopeful will be the site of a new garden project in the future.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre trying to expose them to things they might not experience in their every day life,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs about inspiring their minds to do great things.‚ÄĚ
Jacquie Myers, Unit Director for the Starkville Boys and Girls Club, said her job is to serve the children of this community and make a difference.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs about making a difference and connecting with these community kids, because what goes around, comes around,‚ÄĚ Myers said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs great how passionate the community is about us.‚ÄĚ
For more information on the Boys and Girls Club of Starkville, visit http://http://www.bgcgoldentriangle.org or call 662-615-9980.