by Lisa Tome
Larry Robinson knows the benefits to being a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Robinson, 25, Unit Director of Cecil's newest club, New East of North East, was part of the organization before taking a leadership role.
"When we moved to Delaware when I was nine, I joined the Boys & Girls Club of Newark," said Robinson. "I always wanted to work with Boys & Girls Club.
He started working for the clubs about two years ago. He worked at the club units in Elkton, North East, and Rising Sun, before taking over operations at the Charlestown Club a year ago. When the new club opened at the New East complex this summer, Robinson was tapped to be its leader. He loves the new facility and is being diligent.
"I'm trying to keep it clean. They (BGC officials) know I will get everything done. They know I'm good with the kids. But being in this new place that makes me know they put their faith and trust in me," he said.
The new club, which is off Razor Strap Road, and close to the Maryland State Police barracks, has been bustling but still has plenty of room for new members. "This is different here. Charlestown club is in a school. Here, we have the freedom to do what we want," he said.
The first hour after school is dedicated to power hour, the BGC way of saying homework time. There is time for sports, free play, games, and snack. There are special days also such as art day on Wednesday. Tiana Webster is the activities assistant at the club and helps coordinate these special events.
The club has safety features that others don't. The buildings are secure and have keyless entry. There are also surveillance cameras indoor and out. "Parents have asked about safety. This building is safe like the schools are," Robinson said. He is also working to promote safety for the club members. The current focus is an anti-bullying campaign.
The club also has a number of amenities. A new kitchen, donated Blu-Ray player, big screen TV, shelves of games, a new playground and more. "It's really nice here. The Boys & Girls Club has lots of opportunities," he added.
Robinson doesn't limit his working to the club. He also serves as a coach for the Jaguars youth football team. "Once I'm done here, I still have kids to worry about," laughed Robinson.
In addition to remaining with the club, Robinson hopes to attend college. He'd like to study criminal justice and wants to work as a juvenile probation officer.