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For the kids

The importance of afterschool enrichment

In For the kids

Bryan Partee

By Bryan Partee
Dec. 19, 2017 at 6 a.m.
Updated Dec. 14, 2017 at 4:32 p.m.


by Brooke Paddie, Vice President of Marketing and Resource Development

First and foremost, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines is a safe place for the youth of our community to go in out-of-school times. At the Club, our youth build relationships with caring adults we call Youth Development Professionals (YDPs). But, the Club is so much more than that. Our YDPs are trained in Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s proven programming that covers everything from education, career development, leadership, to arts, healthy lifestyles, and avoiding risky behaviors.

An effective afterschool or summer program boosts ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE. They can improve grades, classroom behavior, school attendance, drop-out rates, and career aspirations. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines, our youth get homework help everyday & programming that enables them to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations, and embrace technology to achieve success in a career.

An effective afterschool or summer program can reduce RISKY BEHAVIORS. Proven programming can reduce drug use and criminal behavior. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines, our programming develops the capacity of our youth to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, set personal goals and live successfully as self-sufficient adults. One hundred percent of active Club members have had zero involvement with juvenile justice system.

An effective afterschool or summer program can promote good PHYSICAL HEALTH. Afterschool programs can encourage physical activity and good dietary habits. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines programming develops fitness routines and positive use of leisure time. Our programming develops social skills and an appreciation of the environment.

An effective afterschool or summer program can provide a SAFE ENVIRONMENT where both the youth and their parents are comfortable and able to focus on positive outcomes. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines programming empowers youth to support & influence their Club & community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, participate in the democratic process, and respect their own & others’ cultural identities.

So next time you hear about the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines as a great program that babysits kids afterschool and in the summer, I hope you recognize that it is so much more to both our youth and our community.

The Club helps our school districts succeed by picking up where teachers leave off in the evenings. Our community is safer with our youth learning to avoid risky behaviors during the actual hours that crime rises in the afternoons. Our community is healthier as our youth grow up practicing healthy lifestyles and physical fitness. Our businesses are more successful because the parents and grandparents of the youth in our community are more productive and present because they are not concerned about the well being of their children.

Do you want to see a truly positive place for kids? Do you want to see where and how we are building great futures? Then stop by the Club or our extensions and see the future of your community hard at work!

Information on effective afterschool programming taken from Benefits for Youth, Families, & Communities at www.youth.gov under Youth Topics, Afterschool.

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