The newest branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica has opened at Olympic High School.

The new site is located in classroom 17 on the continuation high school’s campus, 721 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica. The club held a grand opening for the branch Aug. 30.

The Boys & Girls Club will work to help club members develop a better appreciation for learning through a hands-on environment, officials said. The club will also offer extra-curricular activities such as community service and leadership-focused clubs and programs.

“We are very excited to be serving this population, helping students to make up credits while providing them with skills to use in their post-high school educations and future employment,” says Aaron Young, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.

“We are eager to introduce College Bound, a club program which helps students to achieve their academic and life goals. Every aspect, from the colors of the walls to the computer applications available to them, was personalized to fit the needs and wishes of this specific group of students.”

All students enrolled in Olympic High School will also be members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica and will have access to all the educational resources and programs it offers, free of charge. Focus groups were held by the club prior to the opening of the branch in order to determine exactly what the students feel would help them to learn efficiently and productively, officials noted.

The programs offered at Olympic will be continually tailored to fit the students’ needs and interests and keep them enthusiastic about their education. Music composition, graphic design, web design and service learning projects are among the programs available.

Unlike the other branches, the Olympic site will be open during lunch hours to provide a fun and safe outdoor area to socialize within a supervised setting, club officials said. It will then re-open for normal after-school hours.

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