Boys & Girls Club suffers employee shortage
Due to a number of unfilled positions, when school begins this September, there's a distinct possibility the Boys & Girls Club of Sparta won't be open.
"It would be one of the first year's I would have to consider not being open for the first day of school," said Jen Simunich, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club.
The club has been advertising the open positions for its outreach programs in the Sparta school system as well as at its facility on East Montgomery Street. But, so far, they haven't had a single applicant.
The club is looking for two site coordinators for its after-school WIN (What I Need) program, which is funded through the school district with federal grant money and referendum funds, but is staffed through the Boys & Girls Club.
There are four chartered sites in the school district where the club operates the WIN program, offering students in grades 1-8 assistance with homework, tutoring and enrichment activities.
The club also is in need of four to six lead teachers to help create the curriculum for the program and 10 to 15 tutors.
In addition, the club has a grant-funded, early literacy program housed at Lawrence-Lawson called Future Forward that needs tutors. The program, in its second year, serves K-3 students, who work one-on-one with tutors for a half hour, three times a week. The club needs three tutors to work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The other positions are part time and run from early afternoon until around 6 p.m.
The Montgomery Street facility itself is in need of program leaders as well as tutors to provide after-school homework assistance and academic support.
Simunich said she's looking for people who are energetic and enthusiastic, and who have some experience with guidance and discipline with kids. Site coordinators need experience with managing staff and should have good written and communication skills.
Tutors need to have a wide range of general knowledge and should understand creative ways to teach concepts to kids who have different learning styles.
Program leaders should have talents in teaching things like sports or the fine arts and would be in charge of developing curriculum and implementing the program.
Simunich said the positions would be great for college students who need to fulfill education requirements or paraprofessionals currently working for the school district, but anyone who feels they have the qualifications is encouraged to apply.
Those interested in the positions can access the application and job descriptions online at bgcofsparta.org.
While she's hoping it doesn't come to the point where she'll have to keep the doors shut at the club, Simunich said that decision is dictated by safety concerns.
"The Boys & Girls Club has one adult for every 12 children and if I can't safely provide that staff-member-to-student ratio then I won't be open because it would not be a safe environment."