Several Copperas Cove organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club, stepped forward to keep kids busy during spring break this week.

The club’s Copperas Cove branch had an average attendance of about 40 members per day during spring break, Branch Director Robert Krei said. Most of the kids are elementary-school age.

“They come in and we let them burn off some energy, get some food in their bellies, and if they have homework, they go in our education room and we help them with their homework,” Krei said.

This week, 20 club members visited the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter and 30 are scheduled to travel to the zoo in Waco today in the club’s new 2013 passenger bus sponsored by the City Council, Krei said.

The club usually opens after school, but the hours were modified to be open full days this week to accommodate children’s schedules during spring break.

Austin, 13, a Copperas Cove Junior High seventh-grader, joined the club three years ago with his younger brother. (For privacy reasons, the club asked that Austin’s last name not be used in this story.) He now works as a volunteer, helping with the younger kids and sharing the club’s chores.

“It’s fun and safe,” Austin said.

In other parts of Cove, the Armed Services YMCA gym opened for basketball tournaments during spring break, and Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation hosted a camp.

Krei said he frequently involves the YMCA in events and vice versa.

“I don’t care where they go as long as someone is providing a safe place for these kids to be. That’s what it’s all about.”

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