Catching up with the Pittsboro’s Boys & Girls Club's new director

Posted 9/15/21

PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s new Boys & Girls Club has hired an executive director and will officially open to area youth in October.

Last month, the club achieved a critical, minimum funding …

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Catching up with the Pittsboro’s Boys & Girls Club's new director

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Posted

PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s new Boys & Girls Club has hired an executive director and will officially open to area youth in October.

Last month, the club achieved a critical, minimum funding goal of $220,000 and was authorized by the county schools board of education to operate from a dedicated building at George Moses Horton Middle School. The last remaining major step was to hire a director.

“We’re excited to announce the club has selected Traci Newby,” said Pittsboro Commissioner Kyle Shipp, the driving force behind the club’s formation, in a recent board meeting.

Newby will serve as the location’s primary, full-time staff member with a team of part-time employees to help facilitate club programs.

“It was an excellent move by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Carolina to hire Traci Newby for the full-time position of executive director for the Pittsboro club,” Shipp told the News + Record. “His experience with the schools and the Boys & Girls Club is instrumental in helping us get the club open as quickly as possible. The boys and girls in Pittsboro will be served very well by his kind heart for kids.”

The News + Record caught up with Newby to learn a bit more about his background and goals for the new Pittsboro Boys & Girls Club. The club will open to members on Monday, Oct. 18. Registration for area youth will begin from 3-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at George Moses Horton Middle School “and will continue each Wednesday leading up to the opening date,” Shipp said.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a national organization founded in 1860 “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens,” according to the organization’s website. The Pittsboro location can host about 80 children, according to Shipp.

Let’s start with just a bit about you and your background. Where are you from? Where’d you go to school? What were you doing before this?

I am from Siler City and I am a 2013 graduate of Jordan-Matthews High School and completed my undergrad degree at Arizona State University in 2018 in Family & Human Development. Before this role I was employed at Pittsboro Elementary working with 1st as well as 2nd grade while also working at our Boys & Girls Club location in Siler City, where I have been since 2018.

How did you discover a career helping children was what you wanted to do?

I discovered this career was what I was meant to do early on, actually. During my junior and senior years of high school I interned with Chatham County’s CAUSE Camp as the assistant to the director and that role pretty much solidified it for me. Seeing how passionate she was for the children and being the voice they needed was a great perspective.

Can you share with us some of your initial goals for the club, and give a timeline of what we can expect over the next few months?

Some of my initial goals for the club are to first and foremost become that additional support for the Town of Pittsboro’s families. Along with this, over the next few months I plan to work with local schools as well as other community organizations to provide various outlets and programming to the children of the community that align with our Boys & Girls Clubs national programs.

What would you say to any families/parents considering whether they should join the B&G club?

If they are seeking a safe place for their children to learn and grow in various aspects of their lives, then the club is the ideal location for them.

Can you give sort of a day-in-the-life? What will the experience be like for children who sign up, and what are you and your team doing when the kids are still in school?

A day in the life through the eyes of a Boys & Girls Club member will be coming in and enjoying a snack before working on their homework and other educational activities. Afterwards the members will join different program areas that can be art, physical education, science, etc., on a rotating basis. While these program areas are being facilitated, our Boys & Girls Clubs national programs will also be offered, which can include Passport 2 Manhood, SMART Girls, Torch Club and Triple Play, amongst a host of others. While our members are in school, our staff is continually furthering themselves with training opportunities as well as planning and preparing for the members of the club.

Any especially exciting programs coming to the club that kids can look forward to?

A few programs that our members can look forward to are our Passport 2 Manhood and SMART Girls clubs, which both focus on self esteem enhancement as well as character building within our male and female members, respectively. Other exciting programs coming to the club include the Torch Club and our Ultimate Journey program amongst others.

What diversions from normal activity might we see at the club because of the pandemic’s ongoing presence? In the same vein, what encouragement would you give parents and children concerned about safety?

The diversions implemented within the club follow our state guidelines in relation to school guidelines as well. Just as schools adhere to distancing and mask guidelines, we do as well, along with proper hand washing protocols implemented throughout the club. Along with this, our staff assures that each area is sanitized and clean throughout the day with emphasis on end-of-day cleaning. I would like to let families know that we at Boys & Girls Club put the safety of our members at the top of our priorities in every aspect of what we do.

How can the community at large help out with the club’s vision?

We aim to become a beacon of support within the community and would love to feel the continued support. To make a donation to the Pittsboro Boys & Girls Club, visit https://qrco.de/PittsboroBGC or send your contribution to P.O. Box 551, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312. To express your interest in having a child or children join the Pittsboro Boys & Girls Club, fill out the survey at http://qrco.de/PBGCsurvey.

Reporter D. Lars Dolder can be reached at dldolder@chathamnr.com and on Twitter @dldolder.

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