WEST TAMPA — With the ringing of more than 100 cowbells, members and staff of the West Tampa Boys & Girls Club kicked off the nonprofit group’s Great Futures Campaign recently.
The July 31 event was held in conjunction with clubs across the country to raise awareness of the critical role out-of-school time plays in a child’s success.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Col. Jim Previtera spoke at the rally.
“Every day 15 million children leave school with nothing to do,” Previtera said. “We are here to bring awareness to this issue.”
Previtera said with supervised activities and guidance, students do better in school and are less likely to be involved in crimes, drugs or violence.
“In neighborhoods where we open a Boys & Girls Club, we see a dramatic improvement in the reduction of crime,” he said. “We opened the Freddie Solomon Club in Nuccio Park and have had a 35 percent decrease in juvenile arrests.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay serves more than 11,000 members in 18 clubs in Hillsborough and Pasco counties.