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Barefoot children busily color with sidewalk chalk outside while a pair of young girls sing at a piano in the gymnasium.
Exuberant children fill the Boys & Girls Club in Harriman, which is nearing the end of its summer program. It opened to all school-age children in the Harriman area this summer.
“It has been going great,” said Reggie Coleman, site director. “The kids are doing well.”
The program’s goal is to provide children a safe refuge for the summer at a price parents can afford
Eric Parrott made plenty of friends through the program.
“It is the best because everyone is nice to me, even Mr. Reggie,” Eric said.
The preteen looks up to Coleman, even asking him to come to his Harriman Middle School football practice.
Coleman gives him sports tips and teases him about girls.
For many, the club beats their alternate summer activities.
“I would be watching TV. This is more fun,” said Kyra Bond. “I play with toys.”
She also runs to a cabinet to show off one of her favorite things — a scooter board, one of those childhood treasures that children sit on and slide across the floor.
“There is a lot, and we don’t have to share,” Kyra said.
“We get to go outside and do chalk,” added her friend Gabby Kreis. The two peck at keys on a piano in a corner.
Club organizers continue to raise money.
An annual 5K race will be Aug. 30.
This weekend, Roane County’s parent organization, the Boys & Girls Club of the Clinch Valley, is holding its annual dinner and raffle event at the Elks Club in Oak Ridge. Tickets can be purchased at the Roane County club or at the dinner.
The event helps fund the Oak Ridge and Roane County clubs.