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United Boys & Girls Clubs Opens in Buellton

United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County (UBGC) has opened a new location in Buellton.

Partnering with the Buellton Unified School District, UBGC began an after-school program Aug. 16 for Buellton’s K-8th grade students in need of guided care outside of school. It is held at Jonata Middle School, Mondays-Fridays, starting after school dismissal and going until 6 p.m. daily.

Jesse Gonzalez Click to view larger
Jesse Gonzalez

The community within the Buellton School District has 300 at-risk youth the district hopes to reach during the first year of the after-school enrichment program.

Buellton has become the fastest growing community in Santa Barbara County, and many parents who live in the area travel outside of town for work. This means many students are without guaranteed supervision after school until their parents return from work, sometimes not until well after 6 p.m.

With studies showing most cases of juvenile crime occur from 3-7 p.m, Monday through Friday, it becomes vital to have programs such as the UBGC to combat the risks of these criminal activities.

The UBGC program in Buellton has provided outlets and supervised resources for 63 enrolled students so far. This program encourages students to engage with others and helps guide their growth into productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Another aspect of the opening is the promotion of Jesse Gonzalez, to club director at the new program. Gonzalez has been working at the Westside Unit for multiple years, where he once was involved as a club member.

UBGC believes Gonzalez's experience in both club and athletic programming will prove an asset as he steps into his new role in Buellton.

Michael Baker, CEO of UBGC, said, “We are very excited to be opening our newest club location on the campus of Jonata Middle School. We are looking forward to building a great relationship with the Buellton Unified School District.”

Hans Rheinschild, principal of Oak Valley Elementary and Jonata Middle School, said, “I am excited to announce to the students, families and community of the Buellton Union School District that the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County will be offering its program to our students beginning this school-year."

The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County serves more than 2,700 children and their families among its eight locations. For more information, visit www.unitedbg.org.

— Kelsey Sword for United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.


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