Tag Archives: Boys & Girls Club of Worcester

How the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester and After School Programs Across the Country are Helping Kids, 10 Million at a Time

Dear Friend,

Did you know 10.2 million children in the US participate in after-school activities?

And that for every youth enrolled, two more are waiting to join? The Boys & Girls Club of Worcester serves 6,000 youth a year, but more need our help.

We advocate to secure the support necessary to accept every child who walks through our doors. It’s challenging to raise the funds necessary to provide our programs, but our kids are worth it.

Our programs, and that of Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation, have proven results:

93% of Club members abstained from alcohol use

83% of Club members are on track to graduate high school

100% of our 2016 graduating high school seniors were accepted to college

90% of youth who participate in homework help improve their grades by at least one letter grade

54% of alumni say the Club saved their life

* 2016 Boys & Girls Club of America and Boys & Girls Club of Worcester Statistics

Our academic, athletic, recreational, and therapeutic programs are curriculum-based and implemented by qualified, youth development professionals who strive to change the lives of our kids.

Our after-school offerings are crucial to the youth of our community. The Club saves lives. The statistics speak for themselves, but our parents and members have something to say as well. Please join us and be an ambassador for our youth by donating, volunteering, or advocating on their behalf today.

In partnership,

Liz Hamilton, executive director
Boys & Girls Club of Worcester

*****

Don’t take our word for it, listen to a Club parent…

I am a proud parent of a 13-year-old Club kid. My daughter, Rowan, has been going to the Club more than half her life. I remember bringing her to the Harrington Clubhouse for the first time, when she was 6. She went to look around, and I started to call after her, “Stay where I can see you!” but then I realized that it was a safe space, where she could be free to explore. What a relief (for both of us)! Rowan started out in the School Age Child Care soon after. She blossomed – getting attention from the Club teens who worked there was especially helpful in beginning to overcome her shyness. She learned to swim in the weekly pool session, and the dance program’s once-a-week hip hop class kindled her (so far, lifelong) interest in all forms of dance. The staff nurtured Rowan’s love for storytelling, and had her read her “books” to the class. Even so, she was counting the days until her 8th birthday, so she could be a “real” member, and have the run of the Club.

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As soon as Rowan was a full member, she joined Girls Voice, a family of girls-only programs that lets girls cultivate their leadership abilities, discuss issues that are important to them, and learn what it means to be a friend. Rowan came into her own in the program. She rose to the staff’s trust in her, and began to coordinate the activities, even working with other programs to organize Club clean-ups and other volunteer projects.

She also found a talent as a peacemaker, helping squabbling Club-mates to find common ground and start acting like friends again. The timid little girl who started at the Club would never have thought she could take charge like that. Rowan tried out, and was one of the few 8-year-olds chosen for In DA Zone, the Club’s award-winning dance team. She kept her spot for the next five years.
Rowan is a very articulate kid, with the vocabulary of someone twice her age.

She is a gifted student, and usually knows the answers in the classroom. This, combined with her “artiness” and her Club-nurtured confidence, made her an oddball in elementary school. She thought nothing of practicing a dance routine on the playground at recess, debating the finer points of Harry Potter with a teacher, or spending a free period writing a play. The kids in her class thought she was weird, and she was bullied fairly severely in 5th and 6th grades. Even though she suffered, she refused to “give up herself,” as she put it, by conforming. “I don’t want to act like them,” she said,” If I do it’s admitting that being like them is better, and my real self is bad.” Even so, I’m not sure she could have kept to her principles if she hadn’t been a Club kid. Having the Club as an outlet, a place where she knew she would be accepted and encouraged and have friends, made all the difference for Rowan.

She is now at Burncoat Middle School, in the dance program – where she has found her “tribe” among all the other arty kids. Rowan came out the other side: Because of the Club’s afterschool programs, she now knows that she is strong as well as capable. Due to afterschool commitments, Rowan doesn’t come to the Club every day anymore, but I know that those lessons will last a lifetime. – Malory

… and from our new Youth of the Year

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Anthony Soares began his Club experience when he was seven years old at our Ionic Ave Clubhouse with a swim class taught by Aquatic Director, Ian Witt.

Thirteen years later, Anthony is in his second year as captain of the Worcester Public High School Swim Team, a nationally-ranked athlete, and a certified lifeguard employed at the Club. When he’s not training or working, Anthony is a dedicated volunteer who teaches younger members how to swim.

“Over the past ten years, I’ve had a very enjoyable Club experience. I love being able to go to the Club every day with my friends and have a great time. The Club has given me a safe environment to enjoy the sport I love and help other kids learn how to pursue it. With the help of the Club, I was able to strengthen my swimming skills which led me to the National Swim Meet in Florida 10 years in a row. I wouldn’t have been able to experience these opportunities without the Club,” says Anthony.

When he was in the eighth grade, Anthony took the Boys Scouts’ oath and began working towards his Eagle Scout badge, a goal he hopes to accomplish this spring with the help of the Club.

How Can You Help?

There are several ways to help our organization reach more youth:

Make a financial contribution

Donate items such as clothing, athletic equipment, school and art supplies, etc.

Purchase an annual membership for a child for $25

Attend one of our upcoming events

Volunteer at our Club

Our goal is to serve any child who wants to join our Club.

In order to do so, we need your help.

Assisting our Club in any of the ways listed above makes a big impact. Without the varied support of our friends, we wouldn’t be able to offer our life-saving programs.

THANK YOU!

Boys & Girls Club of Worcester
65 Tainter St.
www.bgcworcester.org