The sounds of shouts and laughter could be heard last week through the closed doors of the Terrill Thomas Center’s gymnasium.

Inside the gym, students were all congregated in the center of the floor, where they sat in a wide circle, flipping through the pages of The Brunswick News.

All summer, instructors at the local Boys & Girls Club have been using the newspaper as an educational tool.

Jazmin Summerlin, a youth development director at the club, said she’s found a variety of ways to use the newspaper to help students have fun while learning.

“With the younger ones, I usually have them do a scavenger hunt,” Summerlin said. “So I’ll choose pictures, words or numbers in the paper, and I’ll ask them to find, like, five things. It’s a competition, and they love that.”

The older students will pick out articles that interest them and discuss them as a group, she said.

The Newspapers in Education program aims to provide local teachers and educational programs with opportunities to use The Brunswick News to engage students in learning activities.

“They definitely gain a better understanding of the world as a whole,” Summerlin said. “At home, they probably don’t read newspapers, just because they aren’t always exposed to that.”

The Brunswick News has long been a supporter and partner of the Boys & Girls Club, said Brooke Eldridge, director of development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Georgia.

This summer, The Brunswick News Publishing Co. also donated five desktop computers to the club.

The donation came at the perfect time, Eldridge said. The Terrill Thomas Center has been undergoing renovations for several months, and once that work is completed, the center will have its own computer lab.

“The good thing about when we do have computer time here, it’s strictly for school work,” she said. “And then if they finish their school work, we have educational games that are based on their level.”

The Newspapers in Education program serves students of all ages at the Boys & Girls Club, Eldridge said.

“There’s even a kid’s section in the newspaper, with crossword puzzles and things, which is great, because even our younger kids can still be part of it,” she said.

The program helps students become more engaged in their own community, Eldridge said.

“This is a way to introduce them to the newspaper,” she said.