West Cobb Magazine

Lend a Helping Hand – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cobb County August 2009

Our Place by Alicia W. Burroughs 

 Boys and Girls Club 1                                                                                                    

There is a place in Cobb County where kids and teens can go after school that is safe, positive and where they can meet friends – a place where all children are welcomed with open arms. Imagine a place where a child from disadvantaged circumstances can find opportunity around every corner and a promise they will be given every chance to succeed. That place is Boys & Girls Clubs.

 

 

 

 A well-known organization and an established youth development program for children and teens, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta has five Clubs in Cobb County:

  •  James T. Anderson Boys & Girls Club in Marietta
  • Michael A. Grant Boys & Girls Club in Six Flags Area
  • A.W. “Tony” Matthews Boys & Girls Club in Mableton
  • Franklin Road Boys & Girls Club 
  • Clubs in Schools, Marietta 6th Grade Academy

Boys and Girls Club 5Cobb County Clubs serve over 3,000 kids and teens every year. What makes Boys & Girls Clubs a great place in the community is our kids – kids and families who often rely on their Boys & Girls Club for safety, comfort, guidance and opportunity. More than 78 percent of Cobb County members come from disadvantaged backgrounds and more than 60 percent come from single parent homes. Families turn to Boys & Girls Club for support. What they get is a life-changing experience for their children.

 

 Our Mission

Our promise is to provide a quality developmental program which empowers Cobb County youth, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to become productive adults.

 Our Methods

Clubs are open each day after school from 2:30 to 8 p.m. Research has shown that during this time of day, children are most vulnerable to gangs, violence and other risky behaviors. To put each child through a school-year program, it costs nearly $1000.00, but parents only pay an annual membership fee of $35.00 for each child. No child is turned away for inability to pay, and scholarships are available thanks to the generous support of our donors.

Our Core Programs are the solution for positive youth development. They engage young people in activities with adults, peers and family members, enable them to develop self-esteem and provide them a solid platform to reach their full potential.

Six Core Program Areas:

o        Education and Career Development

o        Character and Leadership Development

o        Health and Life Skills

o        Arts & Cultural Enrichment

o        Sports, Fitness and Recreation

o        Outdoor Education

 Our Results
National Boys & Girls Club Statistics:
Based on research by Louis Harris & Associates, Club alumni have very strong feelings about their individual Club experiences: 

  • 52% said participating in the Club “saved my life”
  • 90 % said they either graduated from high school or obtained a GED
  • 80% said Club staff helped them learn right from wrong
  • 95% indicated the Club was the best thing available in their community

From Adversity to Opportunity
Chris faced ethnicity issues and barriers at a very young age. As a young and vulnerable child, he felt confused and hurt by what he saw every day. Not knowing how to deal with his emotions, his actions became intolerable and demanding, and he lacked respectful discipline. That’s when his family discovered Boys & Girls Clubs. He joined the Club as a confused and head-strong seven year old boy.

Over the years, Chris engaged in Club activities, made friends and started feeling better about himself and others around him. The staff at the Club spent time coaching and mentoring Chris. He was praised for his good work in school and at the Club, and he was taught right from wrong and the consequences of bad choices. Through positive programs and friends, his behavior slowly improved.   

Chris’s mother says, “I feel the Club is the best place for Chris to learn things I can not teach him.”

Chris is now 13 years old and a confident, strong and disciplined young man. He feels a part of something that has helped him with self-esteem, education and character. He is active in Club programs, and a part of the football and baseball teams there. He wants to become a junior staff member so he can now give back to the Club because according to him, “the Club has done so much for me.” 

Lend a Helping Hand

This year is proving to be challenging for many great non-profit organizations. Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta is not immune to the economic pinch most businesses and families are feeling today.

We are all feeling the hardships, but no one is affected more than our children. Children are our future, and they will shape it based on their successes or their failures.

To find out how you can help, contact David Carriker, Regional Vice President or Margaret Poteet Lontz, Regional Director of Development, at 770.427.0475 or dcarriker@bgcma.org or visit the website at www.bgcma.org

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, a place where PROMISE lives

Boys and Girls Club  LOGOABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF METRO ATLANTA                                                                                                                                                             Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta operates 30 Clubs in 13 metro counties in addition to Camp Kiwanis and Youth Art Connection, a gallery and workspace for young artists. A trained and professional staff serves more than 17,000 youth annually by offering specialized programming and a safe haven for at-risk and underprivileged children and teens. Memberships cost only $35 per school year but scholarships are available for those who need assistance. For more information or to make a promise to metro Atlanta children, please visit http://www.bgcma.org

Hummer Sm Buton

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