DENVER — It’s been a while since golfers populated the Park Hill Golf Course in Denver. And while the future of the land is still to be determined, an interim use has found its way in: A "school away from school" and a safe space for young people.
Jason McBride works as an education specialist for GRASP, the Gang Rescue And Support Project in Denver. He is transforming the clubhouse of the old golf club into a place for students to learn.
“We’re going to have teachers in here to be able to help these kids right when they’re supposed to be doing their school work, to make sure they’re logged when they’re supposed to be logged on. So, keeping track of kids and making sure what they’re doing what they’re supposed to do and offering them some support and help when they’re not in school,” McBride said.
The clubhouse/school doesn’t have a specific name yet, but will offer free meals to students along with mentoring and tutoring if needed. The goal is to assist parents who may not be able to afford or have access to child care or reliable internet for remote learning.
McBride’s other goal is to provide a safe space for youth in an effort to curb youth violence.
“We’ve had one of the deadliest summers in terms of youth violence on record and giving kids somewhere to be a safe space is usually and important thing in this community,” he said.
Crime in Denver from January to July is up more than 12% compared to the same time in 2019. That doesn’t even include the August shooting at a Denver park where nine people, including a toddler and several children, were shot.
“You can call it what you want, this is a safe place for kids to learn and do what they’re supposed to do during the day,” McBride said.
He hopes to open the clubhouse to the community next week. For more information on his nonprofit, including to make a donation of food or school supplies, head to https://www.mcbrideimpact.org.