The Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton celebrated the opening of its new Literacy Center of Excellence, a 2,700-square-foot expansion of its building, with a ribbon cutting May 9.

The facility is the new site of the Club’s comprehensive reading intervention program, which began in January 2014. Since then, Club staff members have seen direct improvements in participants’ reading skills, focus, motivation and self-esteem.

However, the Club lacked adequate space to expand the program to meet the literacy needs of all its members. To solve this problem, a capital campaign was launched in August 2017 with a goal of raising $585,000.

With enthusiastic support from the Bluffton community, and a $75,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton raised more than $650,000 in less than a year, and began construction on the expansion, with a goal to open in the spring of 2019.

“Seeing the astronomical growth in Bluffton and the need to serve more youth, expanding our Club was a must,” said Molly Hornbeak, director of the Club. “I want to thank our generous Bluffton community for making the dream a reality.”

The expansion will double the number of children served in the reading program.