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The Boys & Girls Club of Duquesne-West Mifflin will move from its current location on North Third Street to a larger location in the Duquesne Education Center.
The move is part of a new partnership between the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania and the Duquesne City School District, officials said.
Lisa Abel-Palmieri, chief executive officer of BGCWPA, said the location change was scheduled to happen at the end of 2020, but due to budget concerns and lack of visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift has been moved up six months.
The new facility and partnership will expand the scope of BGCWPA services, with twice as many students being able to take part, she said.
The new location will offer enhanced programs in robotics, art, health and fitness programs, use of a gymnasium and more, as well as services both before and after school.
The afterschool and before-school programs — which will be new to the Duquesne school district — will help local children “not only meet their academic needs but their social (and) emotional needs,” Abel-Palmieri said.
According to Abel-Palmieri, the partnership with the school district also brings more support for underprivileged families through both the Child Care Works program of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and from the Allegheny Department of Human Services’ Out-of-School Time program.
These programs will help families who previously did not qualify for financial assistance due to not meeting the minimum threshold of working 20 hours per week, she said.
With the location change, Abel-Palmieri said, the Boys & Girls Club of Duquesne-West Mifflin will also focus on literacy and STEM education programs.
This is the fourth partnership between the BGCWPA and local schools, she said. The Boys & Girls Clubs also have partnerships with the McKeesport Area and Shaler Area school districts as well as the Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship.
Abel-Palmieri said BGCWPA’s approach to child social and emotional development is called “positive behavior intervention support,” which is designed to reinforce constructive attitudes, rather than resorting to punishments such as after-school detention.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of BGCWPA’s services have moved online, including a virtual summer camp and online afterschool programs.
BGCWPA also has partnered with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to provide grab-and-go lunches to children in the communities they serve during this pandemic, Abel-Palmieri said.
Local clubs will get the physical locations up and running again as soon as it is safe to do so, she said.
Nick Zurawsky is a freelance writer in Pittsburgh. He may be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published June 14, 2020.