Free after-school memberships available at Boys and Girls Club


After-school signups are now open for the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour, and thanks to grant funding, programming for the 2022-23 school year will be free.

Executive Director Ryon Wheeler said the program has been expanded to Jennings County this past year.

“We now have an after-school clubhouse at Country Squire Lakes in Jennings County, and we still have our after-school sites at North Vernon Elementary, Hayden Elementary and Graham Creek schools,” Wheeler said. “Kids that go to some of the other schools can get bussed to CSL, and we are servicing all of the schools, including Sand Creek and Scipio, so we’re able to bus the kids to one of those four sites.”

He said the program is servicing all of Jennings County, and part of that is due to the Reach Grant, which is similar to a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

“That has just kicked off in Seymour and will run four years through 2026, and Brownstown is in its second year of the House Enrolled Act 1008 grant,” Wheeler said. “There is a possibility to have membership fees with the grant, but with the extra funds we’re able to get through the Department of Education, we decided it was best to make the after-school membership free.”

When Wheeler started at the Boys and Girls Club five years ago, he said membership was $100. Then over the years, the fee got knocked down to $75 and then $50.

He said the extra out-of-school times, breaks and extended days will still have a small fee associated with them, but those who receive Anthem insurance can essentially get that written off with the $75 credit the company offers.

“The main focus is we’re ramping up our education focuses and trying to make sure everything that happened with COVID learning loss, that we can try to close the gap,” Wheeler explained. “We’re working with the schools who can identify the kids that need us the most, and we know historically, the kids that come three days a week are more likely to do better than their peers.”

He said they want parents to understand that while the fee is written off, their kids need to be there three days a week for at least an hour a day for them to do better in school.

“If something happens and we get bombarded with kids, an attendance requirement might be put into place, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Wheeler said. “Hopefully, we won’t get to that place.”

He said they hope to be able to continue the free membership after this school year.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time with the inflation costs and families having to deal with things like that,” Wheeler said. “So hopefully, this will help put some money back into the pockets of families and give them a head start for the school year if they need to buy school supplies.”

Anthem will provide up to $50 toward the purchase of school supplies, such as backpacks, notebooks, folders, pencils, pens, calculators and more.

To qualify, a child must be a Hoosier Healthwise or Hoosier Care Connect member between the ages of 5 and 18. This benefit is given on a yearly basis to eligible Anthem members.

Wheeler said the main things the club’s after-school program focuses on are academic success, healthy lifestyles and good character and citizenship.

“Every club has things that are unique to their own community, but all of our programs will fall under those three pillars,” he said. “Those are the things we know kids need to succeed and to grow.”

Wheeler said the online registration for after-school programming opens today on the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour website, and if already a member, log into the portal and re-sign up. If not already a member, click on “Join the club” and fill out the required information.

An information video about after-school membership is available on the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour Facebook page, and registration is available online at

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