For children looking for something to do after school, the Vienna Community Center offer Club Phoenix. "It benefits the kids and the parents," said the Teen Activity Coordinator, Jacob Davis.
Sponsored by the Phoenix Team Foundation, Club Phoenix started about seven years ago to give kids a place to go to hang out. Davis said that the success of the program can be measured by the improved grades the kids get in school and the decreased boredom. "It gives them something to do rather than getting into trouble. We try and act as mentors." He adds that the kids feel very comfortable, comfortable enough to tell them things that the parents don't necessarily know. Davis said, "We hope that we are good role models. We get some feedback from the parents and by the kids improving socially."
Davis notes that Teen Center Supervisor Brian Harrington "interacts with the kids by playing games and I see him helping with homework, too." Davis said that for awhile the numbers were low at the center but since he came on board a year ago, the numbers have picked up. "Now, we usually get about five to 15 (daily) Monday through Thursday and on Fridays the numbers can be anywhere from 60 to 100." The numbers increase when there is a fun event like a dance or pizza party.
"If it weren't for Club Phoenix, " said Heidi Yang, 12 of Vienna, "I would be home sitting around watching television. When I come here I do my homework first and then play games and stuff." She said that sometimes the seventh graders can get a little over excited (she's in sixth grade) and that it bugs her. All in all she said that she is happy to come to Club Phoenix and is glad that she has made friends there.
Vienna Elementary student and Club Phoenix participant, Edress Husseini said, "It's easier to do my homework here. My friends can help me if I get stuck. My parents aren't home unitl about 7 or
8p. m. and that's when I am getting ready to go to sleep." Husseini said that he likes to come here and play with friends and loves when they have a pool competition. He said that his grades in school are good and that he thinks Club Phoenix has helped.