WAYNE, NJ – A group of excited children eagerly waited for the doors to the new Boys and Girls Club (B&GC) computer lab to open so that they could be the first to see and experience what lay inside.
They weren’t alone. Members of the staff waited as well, standing next to B&GC board members and local dignitaries including New Jersey Assemblyman Kevin Rooney, Passaic County Clerk Danielle Ireland-Imhoff and Wayne Mayor Chris Vergano.
The B&GC Director of Resource Development and Marketing, Devon Maloney stood in front of the closed doors, looking more excited than any of the children, who crowded nearby. “Are you excited to see what’s inside?” she asked excitedly. The children shouted their assent. “I am too!” she said. “But first we need to thank the people who made this all happen.”
Maloney was referring to Northstar New Jersey, who donated the lab to the B&GC. Northstar is a management services company who provides sales and marketing support to the New Jersey Lottery.
“Northstar New Jersey are the grant makers,” said John Lynch, the B&GC Executive Director. “Its amazing what they do. They come in and listen to what you want, create a vision and then make that vision come true. And, you’re going to see that today.
After Vergano, Rooney and Ireland-Imhoff each spoke, the entire group gathered in front of the doors for a picture then officially cut the ribbon. With a countdown, the doors opened, and the children poured into the room, cheering and excited to see the new lab.
The enhancements include new computers with updated software, bean bag chairs, a projector & screen, tables, chairs and fresh paint.
“Our computer lab has needed an upgrade for several years and to have Northstar come in a revitalize this highly-used space is awesome,” said B&GC Board Chairwoman Rachel Willard-Chang.
The lab developed at the B&GC is the twelfth After School Advantage Computer Lab launched by Northstar in the State.
“These computer centers are designed to provide children with a meaningful, yet fun, learning experience during the critical school and after-school hours, in a safe environment,” said Northstar Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Adam Perlow. “This initiative is meant to provide an otherwise unavailable educational experience and bridge the digital divide among at-risk children.”
Ireland-Imhoff was happy to see the children’s response to the new equipment: “I’m celebrating with the Boys and Girls Club here in Wayne!” she said with her bright smile. “I’m such a big fan of technology, and equipment and resources that help our children, so I am here celebrating with them.”