An organization that helps keep children out of trouble is planning an expansion in East Tennessee.
Plans are underway to bring the Boys and Girls Club to Roane County for the first time, spearheaded by leaders of their own community, from the D.A.'s office to the Roane County Anti-Drug Commission. The club provides after school and summer activities for children. Leaders said in a place with poverty in many areas, the club can be beneficial.
"Another thing that the Boys and Girls Club could do is give these kids good role models that they may be missing at home," said Harriman Mayor Chris Mason.
"Get (kids) involved. Get their attention focused on something else. We can help head off any future gang activity in Roane County to make sure that's something we don't see here," added District Attorney General Russell Johnson.
So far, they're planning at least one location near Harriman, Kingston, and Rockwood. For some parents, the sooner the better.
"I see so many of my boy's friends in the same situation of 'working parents' and not too many options for them," said parent Jenny Tippen.
The program is getting assistance from the nearby Boys and Girls Club of the Clinch Valley in nearby Oak Ridge. They're planning upcoming meeting to help Roane leaders get their individual unit off the ground.
"We need support of community as a whole. We give these young people tools and the knowledge base to go out and help change lives," said D.J. Jones, leader of the Clinch Valley chapter.
When the Roane County chapter begins, it would bring the total number of Tennessee Boys and Girls Clubs to 22.