Fayetteville, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Children are learning some important life skills thanks to new programs at the Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club. Some of those skills could lead to a promising career when they become adults.

Fourth graders made themselves an after-school snack at the Boys and Girls Club in Fayetteville. A new cooking class is letting kids try their chops at cooking healthy meals; a skill that the kids can take home with them to benefit their whole family.

“It might be easier for the parent who gets off at 6:30 at night to grab a pizza and not necessarily create a salad,” Teen and Program Specialist Allyssa Hicks said.

She says it’s one of two new programs funded through grants this year. The other way is also hands-on in a different sense.

“Carpentry, electrician skill building, there’s also first responder experience,” Hicks said as she listed off different trades teens can learn through the club’s virtual reality headsets.

“We’re able to say, “Hey, you don’t have to pressure yourself about college. There are other options. There are two-year programs. There are these trade jobs which you’re able to experience virtually which is something that they love to do at home,” Hicks said.

It all ties into the Boys and Girls Club’s overall mission, not just giving kids a safe place after school but setting them up for the future. It does this in all sorts of ways, whether it be new programs or ones that have been around for a while.

“I’m a big believer in sports bringing life lessons, building character and leadership and teamwork. We do school-based teams here so they get to be with their peers at school and develop those relationships with people they have in classes as well,” Chief Operations Officer Kyle Scogin said.

“We’re excited to just open them up to everything we’ve planned and give them all the opportunities to grow and be the citizens we’re trying to make them into for Fayetteville,” Hicks said.

Basketball sign-ups are coming up soon. To learn more about how to sign up or any of The Boys and Girls Club programs, click here.