Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast is a Youth Development organization that offers out of school time programs to all young people living in Pinellas County, especially those who need them most. With alumni going on to become Presidential Scholars and Rhodes Scholars, the organization must be doing something effective to enrich the lives of underprivileged children. But what exactly happens on a day-to-day basis at a Boys & Girls Club?
St. Petersburg 12/21/2010 07:45 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)
On January 29th, 2011, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast will be celebrating 51 years of accomplishments during their annual gala “Be Groovy Too” at the Sirata Beach Resort, St. Pete Beach, and will reflect on what the organization has achieved during the half-century. Perhaps the non-profit’s accomplishments can be best exemplified in a day-in-the-life of a Boys & Girls Clubs attendee – an energetic and charming eleven-year-old boy named Ivan.
Ivan attends Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast’s North Greenwood Club in Clearwater. Ivan first came to the club with an anger problem. He says the staff has helped him cope with his anger, and now when something upsetting happens, he takes a deep breath and counts to 10. It is important to Ivan to makes sure all the Club Members treat each other with respect.
Ivan is a Youth Leader, which means he is in charge of helping with some of the younger kids. Each day, he arrives at the Club early so he can help clean up and get the club ready for almost 100 Club Members to arrive from school. Once the younger children get to the club, he helps them with their homework for the first hour, then the children move on to other programs and recreation.
As a Youth Leader, Ivan is able to help out other children who, like him, are experiencing rough times. “I tell them to think of all the good things they have in life,” says Ivan. He is proud to be involved with Boys & Girls Clubs, since it gives kids a safe place to learn and play, and off the streets and out of jail.
Many youth, like Ivan, are at risk of falling behind in school and education, leading them towards undesirable behavior and consequences when they grow older. Through the life-enhancing programs offered by Boys & Girls Clubs, and the academic and moral guidance they contain, many children are prevented from becoming just another statistic.
Ivan wants to be the President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America when he grows up, and dreams of traveling around the world helping other children by opening up new Boys & Girls Clubs. With Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast offering him strong guidance and character development experiences, anything is possible!
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast will celebrate these and other accomplishments during their annual gala, BE GROOVY TOO. This 1960’s themed fundraising event is on January 29th at the Sirata Beach Resort St. Petersburg Beach from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Those interested should contact Carla Mattern at (727)-524-2427x17.
About the Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast:
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America movement came to Pinellas County in November 1959 with the founding of the Boys Club of Pinellas Park by Police Chief Maurice L. MacTarsney and Margret “Peg” Nunn. The Club began operating in January 1960 in an old frame building leased from the City of Pinellas Park with its first executive director, James S Hart Jr. The Boys Clubs of Pinellas, Inc. was chartered in August 1967 when its second club opened at the Northside location in St. Petersburg. In May 1970, at the urging of both the United Way and the Boys Clubs of America, the Boys Clubs of Pinellas County, Inc. was organized. In 1991, the Boys Clubs of Pinellas County opened its programs to all youth, forming Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast (BGCS), as we know it today, now with eleven locations. BGCS, under the leadership of Carl R. Lavender, Jr. has the goal “to influence the behavior and the attitudes of each individual boy and girl in a wholesome manner.” The sole purpose of BGCS is to provide children, youth, their families and the community opportunities for safe, structured, well supervised after school and summer youth programs, with an emphasis on leadership, education and self-sufficiency. The organization has proven its commitment to service for children and community members with innovative and progressive programming and opportunities. Supporters of Boys & Girls Clubs include government politicians, law enforcement agency representatives, financial institutions, and education boards, among other concerned citizens. To find out more or to help, visit www.bgcsuncoast.org.
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