Ardmore, Okla. – Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby led groundbreaking ceremonies for a new Chickasaw Youth Club on Tuesday, May 3, at the Chickasaw Nation Ardmore Campus.
Education has long been a top priority for the Chickasaw Nation, and the new 14,600 square foot facility represents an investment in the future by expanding the youth club to the Ardmore area.
“Investing in the education of our youth has long been a cornerstone of the Chickasaw Nation and a driving force behind our Tribe’s continued progress,” Governor Anoatubby said. “The Chickasaw Youth Club is an investment in our youth, as well as in the future of the Chickasaw Nation. We look forward to a bright future for the Chickasaw Nation, which will benefit from the success of the children who will learn, grow and play here for many years to come.”
Established in 1998 with the goal of providing Chickasaw youth with a safe space to learn and grow, Chickasaw Youth Clubs offer after-school and summer learning programs for children ages 4-13.
Also located in Sulfur and Tishomingo, the programs offered by youth clubs aim to foster good character, promote education, and encourage healthy lifestyles and career development.
Health and nutrition education, career development, life skills, art, sports, fitness, and Chickasaw history and culture are offered.
It is also a place where students can cultivate good study habits, develop social skills, and develop leadership abilities.
The Ardmore facility includes four classrooms, a commercial kitchen and a large dining hall, which also serves as a safe.
The youth club will also have a half-court basketball court and a 21,000 square foot playground.
Located at the corner of Locust and Harris Street NW, the building will be adjacent to other Chickasaw Nation programs and services.
The historic Chickasaw Nation Campus in northeast Ardmore was established in 1917 as a place dedicated to the education and advancement of America’s first children when Bloomfield Academy moved to Ardmore. The facility was renamed Carter Seminary in 1932 in honor of Chickasaw legislator Charles D. Carter.
For decades, the school served as a center of education and development for early American boys and girls until the establishment of the Chickasaw Children’s Village in 2004.
Although the school is no longer on the property, the original mission of providing education, advancement, and opportunity is realized in many of the services offered on the property. The addition of the Youth Club will provide more opportunities for Chickasaw youth.
“We hope everyone who enters this building will learn valuable lessons and make meaningful connections to their Chickasaw culture and community,” Governor Anoatubby said.
For more information on Chickasaw Youth Clubs, call (580) 559-0907 or visit Chickasaw.net.