Boys and Girls Clubs in the state expect to lose $20 million in revenue by the end of 2020 due to the pandemic and are grappling with the sustainability of operations, according to the director of the organization.
The 40 clubs serve about 175,000 young people, providing education, recreation, health and wellness, and workforce readiness services at 67 sites. During a Facebook Livestream late last week with Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, Massachusetts Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Executive Director Jenn Aldworth said the clubs have already lost $13 million in revenues to-date this year as they react to evolving state regulations in connection with the pandemic.
“The issue becomes sustainability, right. And so, we are trying to do what is asked of us, and what is needed of us during this time,” Aldworth said. “But we can’t continue to operate at this rate without some support.”
The fiscal 2020 budget included $2.2 million for the alliance, with $2 million earmarked for equal distribution among member organizations. Aldworth said she is anxiously waiting to see what the fiscal year 2021 budget will look like.
She’s also watching an economic development bill that is pending before lawmakers.
“Because what that will do is it’ll provide $10 million, not just to clubs, but access to out of school time providers to help support the work that they already have been doing,” she said. “The most important thing is to retain our qualified, passionate, creative staff.”
Spring break latest victim of COVID
The University of Rhode Island has joined a growing number of U.S. colleges canceling spring break to reduce travel and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
University officials announced the measure Friday, a week after the Faculty Senate approved the change, according to The Providence Journal. It was also supported by university President David Dooley.
Classes will continue from March 22 to 28, the period originally set aside as spring break, and the semester will end on April 27, a week earlier than initially planned.