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Guyton races to form leisure board
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Guyton’s drive to form a leisure services board may be getting a boost from a local organization trying to get youth more involved in activities.

Alderman Jeff Lariscy met with members of Reclaiming Our Children, and the discussion entailed the group having sponsorship from a city-appointed board. Lariscy proposed a five-member board that would oversee the ROC’s activities and others like it.

ROC also has begun in earnest attempting to draw interest and volunteers. The group sponsored an appearance by Nick Eason of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night at the Guyton Civic Center (see related story) and also handed out flyers to recruit potential help.

“It’s always been my push for Leisure Services to get involved in the city,” Mayor Michael Garvin said.

The Reclaiming Our Children group is hoping to get started by July 20, said Joseph Lee, with the intention of serving 30 children each day for five days a week.

Organizers are hoping to reach school-age children, with programs in the afternoons for young children and evening programs for older children. Program times would change once school starts.

“We want to do it the whole year,” Lee said.

ROC organizers are envisioning their work as a long-term project and also hope to target dropouts in the future.

The city has had input from Julie Deal, who runs a similar program in Statesboro, Lariscy said.

Because school system employees have had background checks, Lariscy said there has been discussion that if any of them volunteer to help with the group, they may not need to have those screenings performed again.

Garvin said he wanted to see more than five members on the board. Lariscy countered that they have trouble filling all five seats on the historic preservation board.

With its planned program for children, ROC intends to give attendees a snack, Lee said. For 30 people, that could be done at $2 a day, he said.

“I feel if they are a citizen of Guyton, they shouldn’t pay a pay a fee,” Garvin said. “If they aren’t, they should pay a fee.”

Guyton’s recently adopted fiscal year 2010 budget included a $10,635 line item for recreation and leisure services.

Lariscy also hoped to get comments back by today to see who might be interested in serving on the board.