After opening a club in Buellton in 2017 with a goal of serving 20 students and now having more than 11 times that number of members, United Boys & Girls Clubs (UBGC) of Santa Barbara County saw another need in the Santa Ynez Valley — the city of Solvang.

This year is the first school year UBGC will run its programs in Solvang at Solvang Elementary School on the lower campus. The club is open 2:30-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and opens for early release at 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Open for only two weeks so far, the new club already has 48 members enrolled for the current school year.

“I am looking forward to continuing the outreach to the kids in the Santa Ynez Valley,” said Chelsea Lincoln, assistant club director for Buellton and Solvang locations.  “Solvang School District provides such great opportunities for the kids, and I am excited to be a part of it and a part of the growth for the individuals that attend.

“I am stoked to continue to help the kids pursue their passions in art, STEM, educational and academic success, dual language learning, sports and more.”

Members are excited as well about the new afterschool options. “The Boys and Girls Club is awesome, and they always help with homework and projects and give us time to play and do fun activities,” said Riley, a second-grader from Solvang Elementary.

“As a 31-year club professional and as a resident of the Santa Ynez Valley I could not be happier with the growth and support we have received,” said CEO Michael Baker. “Solvang is a special place, and their superintendent Steve Seaford has been a gem to work with,”

To schedule a tour of any of the UBGC clubs, contact CEO Michael Baker, 805-681-1315.

— Tina Ballue for United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.