For community members invested in the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastside, from students to parents and staff, a permanent location for the club has been a long time coming.
In June, the club took over four portables next to Cunha Intermediate School’s soccer fields, a big step for the club, which for the past 26 years has strived to engage students across the Coastside while sometimes lacking adequate space to do so.
By collaborating with the Cabrillo Unified School District, the club plans to add two portables after winter break. The new space means an office for the club’s staff, more capacity to house kids and more opportunity to implement new programs.
“That’s why it’s so important to have this additional space, so we can bring in more kids from the community and add more programs that include academics, enrichment and sports,” said Virginia Perry, president of the club board of directors.
Perry said this new location is a major upgrade from the lone classroom the club uses on Cunha’s campus. With the portables near the middle school, the Half Moon Bay Library and the CUSD Event Center, club leadership hopes that, in the near future, this area will be a hub for kids for both recreation and academics. The new rooms aren’t the only collaboration at Cunha. In response to the school district’s plan to cut funding for the school’s sports program, the club announced it would run the sports teams instead. It also jointly owns the event center gymnasium on the Cunha campus.
The club began offering the portable classrooms as a socially distant workspace for students in mid-August. It is now dubbed a supervised remote-learning program for sixth through 12th grade. It costs $115 per month and financial aid is available. Using their school-issued Chromebooks, students are dispersed into six pods of seven that meet Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This program is meant for students who can’t consistently access the internet from home, according to Jill Jacobson, the club’s executive director. Cunha Site Manager Sandra Sarabia helps organize this new program.
These are the same portables that housed classrooms and offices that housed Cunha students, faculty and staff while the school’s C Building was closed due to mold and water leakage in 2016. The building reopened last fall.
Perry planned to have an official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the offices on Saturday with CUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge in attendance but canceled the event due to concerns over the pandemic. In addition to homework and tutoring services, Perry said the rooms will eventually be used for games and enrichment programs such as art, music and even ballet. The club also plans to expand its Teen Center there as well.
“Now we have the opportunity to do it all and do it well,” said Perry.