Nationwide Movement Redefines the Opportunity Equation for Kids by Elevating Need for Increased Access to Afterschool and Summer Programs
BRADENTON, FL – Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County announced the launch of the Great Futures Campaign to mobilize the community in support of kids and empower today’s youth to achieve great futures. The local Club is joining Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide to redefine the opportunity equation for kids by elevating the critical role out-of-school time plays in a child’s development. Through the Great Futures Campaign, the organization seeks to ensure that every child and teen has access to a safe place after school and during the summer where they can build the knowledge, skills and behaviors to put them on the path for success.
Every day, 15 million kids nationwide (1 out of 3) leave school with no place to go1, putting them at risk of being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe. During the summer, an alarming 43 million (3 out of 4) kids in America lack access to summer learning programs2, increasing their risk of learning loss and putting them at a disadvantage before the school year starts. The way a child spends their time after school and during the summer can significantly impact the path they take.
Nationally, the issues have economic implications, costing as much as $209 billion in lost taxes and higher government expenditures over the lifetimes of those who fail to graduate7. Healthcare costs to treat health issues related to childhood obesity are $14.1 billion annually, 8 and states spend an average of $7.1 million a day locking youth up in juvenile justice facilities9.
“Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County has been serving the community with afterschool and summer programs for 68 years. During that time, we’ve seen the positive impact that occurs when young people have access to a safe place with caring adult mentors and enriching programs during out-of-school time,” said Valerie Bliss, VP of Development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. “We want today’s generation to be successful in school and in adulthood, to be healthy and active, and to develop strong character skills they need to become future leaders for our community and country.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs impact the lives of thousands of children in Manatee County. In 2013, over 6,000 young people, a majority of whom are economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority, benefited from the programs offered at 7 Clubs and through outreach programs. This year, 99% of our Club members moved on to the next grade level; 81% engaged in healthy habits 3 or more days a week; and, 94% reported a marked improvement in school attendance and positive feelings towards education, learning and their community.
Boys & Girls Clubs reach kids most in need with outcome-driven programs designed to increase their performance in the areas of education, health and character development. Research shows that when kids attend the Club more frequently, the impact grows, so Clubs create a fun and engaging environment that keeps kids coming back. Goals for the Campaign include:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County is asking the public to help the organization reach more kids and put them on the path to a great future. Whether you volunteer your time, become a mentor, make a donation to support the enriching programs, sponsor an event or advocate, you’re helping to open the door for a better future for the children of our community.
For more information about the Great Futures Campaign, visit www.bgcmanatee.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County provides hope and opportunity to over 6,000 young people at seven locations (Daughtrey Elementary School, Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary School, Harllee Middle School, Lincoln Memorial Middle School, Southeast High School and the traditional DeSoto and Palmetto Clubs). Open the door and take a tour of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. For more information or to arrange a tour, call 761-2582 or visit www.bgcmanatee.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
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