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Putting Families First:

Success Stories From

BGCA’s Family PLUS Strategy  

 

 

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 distribute
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commercial
basis
multiple
copies
of
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reproduced
 from
this
publication.
 
 Copyright

2010
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
America
 
 All
rights
reserved.
Printed
in
the
United
States
of
America.
Except
as
 expressly
provided
above,
no
part
of
this
book
may
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 transmitted
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or
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the
publisher.
 
 Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
America
 1275
Peachtree
St.
NE
 Atlanta,
GA
30309‐3506
 404‐487‐5700
 www.bgca.org


 

 

 

 

    Putting Families First:   Success Stories from BGCA’s Family PLUS Strategy   

         

 

 

 

Table of Contents    Foreword


1


Acknowledgments


2


Five
Years
of
Family
PLUS


3


Our
Program’s
Proven
Success


5


Inspiring
Programs


7


Inspiring
Parents



12


Inspiring
Clubs


19


 

 

 

Foreword    Our
nation’s
families,
particularly
those
served
by
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs,
face
extraordinary
 economic
and
social
challenges.
Family
PLUS
–
an
innovative
family
strengthening
strategy
in
 partnership
with
Kimberly‐Clark
Corporation
–
extends
the
impact
of
BGCA’s
life‐enhancing
 programs
beyond
the
walls
of
the
Club
to
strengthen
the
very
foundation
of
the
family.

 The
adults
charged
with
rearing
members
of
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
–
be
they
mothers,
fathers,
 grandparents
or
caregivers
–
can
now
take
classes
and
access
services
within
the
Clubs
that
 serve
their
youth.

 Families
also
find
unprecedented
opportunities
to
strengthen
familial
bonds
by
spending
time
 together
in
the
Club.
The
chief
professional
officer
of
one
school‐based
Club
describes
how,
 each
day
after
school,
parents
and
caregivers
can
be
found
interacting
with
children
in
the
gym,
 computer
lab
and
community
garden.
Another
Club’s
inclusive
family
activities
allow
a
single
 mother
who
cares
for
her
disabled,
adult
brother
to
have
fun
with
her
son
–
and
this
improved
 relationship
seems
to
have
helped
the
son
do
better
in
school.
 Clubs
have
submitted
so
many
inspiring
stories
that
we
feel
we
simply
must
share
them.
Within
 the
pages
of
this
book
you
will
read
about
fathers
who
have
managed,
even
in
the
face
of
 custody
disputes,
to
stay
involved
with
their
children;
a
displaced
single
mother
who
found
her
 family
a
home;
and
caregivers
helped
by
Clubs
who
were
able
to
secure
emergency
financial
 assistance,
medical
care,
counseling
and
even
jobs,
so
that
they
might
better
provide
for
their
 families.
 These
successes
would
not
have
been
possible
without
Family
PLUS,
which
is
now
offered
by
 more
than
2,000
Clubs
to
some
2
million
young
people
and
their
families.
For
that,
we
are
 profoundly
grateful
to
our
partner,
Kimberly‐Clark
Corporation,
in
supporting
our
endeavor
to
 strengthen
families.
 
 Sincerely,

 
 
 President
and
CEO
 Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
America




Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
1
of
33 

 

Acknowledgments    Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
America
gratefully
acknowledges
the
Kimberly‐Clark
Corporation
for
its
 generous
support
of
Family
PLUS.
This
support
has
allowed
BGCA
an
opportunity
to
provide
 Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
worldwide
with
funding
and/or
technical
support
to
enhance
or
initiate
 family
inclusion
programming,
events
and
activities.
We
are
especially
thankful
to
Tom
Falk,
 President/CEO,
Kimberly‐Clark
and
Jenny
L.
Lewis,
Vice
President,
Kimberly‐Clark
Foundation,
 for
their
vision,
passion
and
commitment
to
strengthen
our
nation’s
families
and
communities.


 We
extend
a
special
thank
you
to
the
families
and
staff
members
who
so
willingly
shared
their
 success
stories
and
exceptional
work
to
make
this
book
possible.
Special
recognition
is
given
to
 the
following
BGCA
staff
for
their
hard
work,
advocacy
and
commitment
in
supporting
families
 as
an
integral
part
of
the
youth
development
experience
within
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs:
 o Roxanne
Spillett,
President,
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
America
 o Judith
J.
Pickens,
M.Ed.,
Senior
Vice
President,
Program
&
Youth
Development
Services
 o Christina
Alford,
Vice
President,
Resource
Development/Southwest
 o Romero
Brown,
Vice
President,
Program
&
Youth
Development
Services
 o Sharon
Hemphill,
Senior
Director,
Health
and
Life
Skills
 o Jose
Cruz,
Director,
Family
Strengthening
 o Julie
Davis,
Account
Relationship
Director
 o Lauren
Hoffman,
Director,
Editorial
Projects
 o Gerald
Fanion,
Assistant
Director,
Public
Relations
 o Marella
Bivins,
Program
Assistant,
Program
&
Youth
Development
Services
 BGCA
also
thanks
Michelle
McQuiston
for
her
contributions
to
the
research,
writing
and
editing
 of
this
guide.


   

Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
2
of
33 

 

Five Years of Family PLUS  Five
years
ago,
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
America
(BGCA)
and
the
Kimberly‐Clark
Corporation
 developed
a
national
strategy
– Family PLUS (Parents Leading, Uniting, Serving)
–
to
expand
 and
redefine
family
strengthening
throughout
the
Boys
&
Girls
Club
Movement
in
five
areas:
 Kinship
Care;
Father
Involvement;
Economic
Opportunity;
Family
Advocacy
Network
(FAN)
Club,
 and
Outreach/Recruitment/Retention.
Working
from
the
premise
that
children
do
well
when
 families
do
well,
and
families
do
better
when
they
live
in
supportive
communities,
BGCA
helped
 build
the
capacity
of
Clubs
to effectively
deliver
programs
and
services
that
ensured
families
in
 need
have
the
opportunities,
networks
and
assistance
to
realize
their
aspirations
for
their
 children.
 Throughout
the
years,
the
Family
PLUS
strategy
has
provided
funding
to
354
Clubs
for
their
 family
strengthening
efforts.
Also,
the
tools,
resources
and
strategies
to
start
or
expand
such
 programs
and
services
are
available
to
all
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs.
The
creation
of
Parent
Advisory
 Committees
helps
design
programs
and
services
uniquely
suited
to
the
needs
of
each
Club’s
 membership.
Today,
Clubs
are
providing
classes
in
parenting
with
opportunities
for
fathers
and
 non‐custodial
parents
to
increase
their
involvement
in
the
lives
of
their
children.
There
are
also
 course
offerings
in
academic
enrichment
and
employment
strategies.
Clubs
are
also
networking
 with
community
agencies
to
provide
emergency
financial
assistance
to
families
that
need
help
 paying
bills,
buying
groceries
or
finding
affordable
housing.

 Family
PLUS
has
become
a
vital
component
of
BGCA’s
five‐year
strategic
plan,
IMPACT
2012.
As
 BGCA
is
working
to
achieve
positive
outcomes
for
youth
and
teens
in
three
key
impact
areas
–
 academic
success,
good
character
and
citizenship
and
healthy
lifestyles
–
family
strengthening
 programming
provides
further
means
for
Clubs
to
work
with
parents
and
caregivers
to
ensure
 that
young
people
reach
their
full
potential
as
productive,
caring,
responsible
citizens.


 The
Family
PLUS
strategy
has
substantially
changed
the
way
Clubs
think
about
including
families
 in
Club
programming.
Family
strengthening
components
are
now
an
integral
part
of
other
 national
programs
developed
by
BGCA.
As
a
result,
the
number
of
Clubs
reporting
that
they
 offer
family
strengthening
programming
has
ballooned,
from
348
Clubs
in
2006
to
1,537
in
 2009.
Not
only
that,
but
Clubs
have
received
more
than
$2
million
in
funding
and
some
640,000
 Club
members
and
their
families
have
participated
in
family
strengthening
opportunities
–
 spawning
countless
stories
of
success.

 Over
the
years,
Clubs’
family
strengthening
efforts
have
revealed
some
enduring
lessons
about
 the
ways
to
best
serve
Club
youth.
But
the
stories
in
this
book
illustrate
the
most
important
 element
of
the
Family
PLUS
legacy
–
stronger
kids,
stronger
families
and
stronger
communities.


Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
3
of
33 

  Types of Family Support and Engagement    Types  Family
Social
Events


Academic
Support
for
Children


Outreach,
Information
and
 Communication


Adult
Education
Courses


Family
Strengthening


  Examples  o Holiday
dinners,
sometimes
with
family
portraits
(Thanksgiving
 dinner,
Haunted
Halloween
House,
Posada
celebration)
 o Game
nights
(Bingo,
Spades,
Movies,
Trivia)
 o Talent
shows
(graduation
celebrations,
award
ceremonies,
 appreciation
dinners)
 o Sports
events
(basketball
clinics,
football
and
cheerleading
 banquets,
pool
parties,
sports
tournaments
and
fundraisers)
 o Outings
(bowling,
amusement
parks,
malls,
neighborhood
clean‐ ups,
baseball
games)
 o Other
Family
Fun
Nights
(arts
and
crafts
night,
fashion
shows,
 father
and
son
activities,
chaperoned
dances)
 o “Feed
and
Read”
events
 o College
scholarships
 o College
financing/preparation
parent
workshops
 o Homework
help
and
tutoring
 o Working
with
teachers
and
schools
 o Parent‐involvement;
in‐school
workshops
 o Club
orientations
and
walking
tours
 o Event
flyers,
bulletin
boards
and
calendars
 o Suggestion
boxes,
advisory
groups
and
focus
groups

 o “Personal
asks”
by
staff
for
event
attendance
and
volunteering
 o Parent‐staff
communication
regarding
child
 o Children
as
messengers
to
champion
events
with
parents
 o Education
and
employment:
ESL,
citizenship,
GED,
computers,
 resume
writing
 o Personal
health
(nutrition,
stress
management,
exercise)

 o Parenting
(parent‐child
communication,
discipline,
college
 preparation,
parent
mentors)
 o Health
and
dental
screenings,
services,
supplies
(e.g.,
 eyeglasses)
 o Counseling
services,
referrals,
space
for
noncustodial
parents
to
 meet
with
their
children
 o Social
support
for
couples/families
(Parents’
Night
Out,
 marriage
counseling)
 o Giveaways
(food
pantry,
Christmas
gifts,
turkeys
for
 Thanksgiving,
clothes
and
supplies,
car
seats,
bikes
and
 backpacks)
 o Other
economic
support
(scholarships,
job
training,
credit
 counseling,
utility
bill
assistance,
finance
classes
and
Club
 employment)


Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
4
of
33 

 

Proof of Our Program’s Success  An
external
evaluation
of
the
Family
PLUS
suggests
many
benefits
for
children,
parents
and
 families.
Parents,
youth
and
Club
leaders
all
reported
a
positive
influence
from
Family
PLUS
on
 the
quality
and
quantity
of
time
that
children
and
their
parents
spent
together,
as
well
as
on
 other
family,
child
and
Club
outcomes,
such
as
increased
parental
knowledge
about
one's
 children,
their
talents
and
their
friendship
networks
and
improved
parent‐child
communication
 and
parenting
skills.
Parent‐staff
relationships,
Club
visibility
and
child
behavior
management
 also
improved.

 The
evaluation
of
Clubs
who
received
funding
to
implement
Family
PLUS
was
conducted
 through
surveys
with
Club
leaders,
staff
and
parents;
focus
groups
with
Club
leaders,
parents
 and
youth;
and
site
visits
with
a
stratified
sample
of
Clubs
receiving
grants.
 The
evaluation
had
four
major
aims:
1)
to
assess
the
influence
of
Family
PLUS
on
the
delivery
 and
receipt
of
family
support
activities
at
Clubs;
2)
to
assess
the
influence
of
Family
PLUS
on
 family
togetherness
and
other
positive
outcomes
for
children,
families
and
Clubs;
3)
to
assess
 the
usefulness
and
influence
of
BGCA
training,
technical
assistance
and
materials
on
Family
 PLUS
programming
and
its
antecedents;
and
4)
to
identify
primary
approaches
through
which
 Family
PLUS
has
been
implemented
at
Clubs.
 1) Evaluation
findings
show
that
Family
PLUS
increased
both
the
quantity
and
quality
of
family‐ strengthening
activities
offered,
as
well
the
number
of
parents
served
by
family
 strengthening
activities.

 
 o The
quantity
of
family
support
activities
from
the
first
to
fourth
quarter
of
the
grant
 increased
significantly.

 
 o The
prevalence
of
activities
across
Family
PLUS
areas
was
significantly
higher
during
 the
grant
compared
to
before
the
grant,
and
was
sustained
well
beyond
the
grant
 period.
 
 o The
quality
of
family
support
activities
also
improved
significantly
from
the
first
to
 fourth
quarter
of
the
grant.
Most
chief
professional
officers
(CPOs)
report
good
or
 excellent
quality
well
beyond
the
grant
period.
 
 o A
breadth
of
family
support
activities
surfaced
in
qualitative
data,
falling
into
a
clear
 typology
of
family
social
events,
academic
support
for
children,
outreach
and
 communication,
adult
and
parent
education,
and
family
support
services.
 
 o Participation
of
new
parents
was
reported
across
all
program
areas,
ethnic/racial
 categories,
genders,
and
first
and
fourth
grant
quarters,
with
outreach
activities
 engaging
the
most
new
parents.
CPOs
also
report
higher
overall
levels
of
parent


Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
5
of
33 

 

participation
across
program
areas
during
rather
than
before
the
grant
period,
with
 levels
sustained
after
the
grant
for
most
areas.
 2) The
evaluation
suggests
that
Family
PLUS
positively
influences
family
togetherness,
as
 measured
by
the
quantity
and
quality
of
time
children
and
parents
spend
with
one
another
 inside
and
outside
of
the
Clubs. 
 
 o The
quantity
and
quality
of parent‐child time
increased
over
the
course
of
the
grant,
 and
the
majority
of
CPOs
attribute
family
support
programming
as
increasing
this
 amount.

 
 o The
quality of parent involvement
in
their
children’s
development
also
increased
 over
the
course
of
the
grant.
 
 o Parents
and
CPOs
also
reported
that
family
support
programming
led
to
positive  change
for
families.
 
 o The
quality of parent‐child communication
and
relationships
was
also
positively
 influenced
by
Family
PLUS.
 3) Findings
reveal
that
BGCA’s
materials
and
resources
are
highly
valued
by
CPOs;
a
focus
on
 family
nutrition
and
mealtime
is
appreciated
by
parents;
and
on‐site
training
is
effective
in
 increasing
CPO
and
staff
knowledge
about
family
support
and
how
to
implement
it.
 4) The
evaluation
also
revealed
a
set
of
broad
approaches
for
implementing
family
support
 programming:
identifying
and
responding
to
challenges
specific
to
particular
communities
 and
families,
building
partnerships,
inviting
parent
volunteerism,
relying
on
leadership
and
 staffing,
and
promoting
civic
engagement.
 
 These
innovative
and
proven
strategies
bring
parents,
caregivers
and
family
members
into
the
 Club,
and
bringing
families
into
the
Club
helps
parents
and
caregivers
take
the
lessons
and
 objectives
of
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
beyond the walls of the Club.



Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
6
of
33 

 

Inspiring Programs 

  Reaching Beyond Club Walls    Reaching
beyond
Club
walls
is
about
serving
whole
families
and
involving
entire
communities.
 Incorporating
Family
PLUS
funding
and
resources,
Clubs
across
the
country
and
on
military
 installations
around
the
world
have
created
and
implemented
innovative
new
strategies
for
 serving
youth
and
their
families.
What
has
also
grown
during
the
five‐year
period
spanned
by
 the
Family
PLUS
partnership
are
the
countless
stories
of
successes
–
great
and
small.
“The
 Family
PLUS
initiative
has
made
a
great
difference
to
the
family
members
who’ve
become
 involved,”
writes
Robie
Aguila,
executive
director,
Variety
Boys
&
Girls
Club,
Pueblo
Del
Sol
unit,
 Los
Angeles,
Calif.
“Mothers,
in
particular,
have
told
us
how
much
the
Family
PLUS
activities
 mean
to
them,
especially
the
sessions
on
communication.
They
tell
us
how
the
sessions
have
 increased
the
levels
of
understanding
between
themselves
and
their
children,
and
within
the
 families
as
a
whole.”
 Through
stories
like
these
and
the
one
below,
it
is
possible
to
catch
small
glimpses
of
the
big
 changes
that
have
been
happening
for
families
in
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs:
 The holidays always provide opportunities to reach out to the community. We hosted a Family  Thanksgiving Dinner, and it turned out to be one of our most successful events of the year. We had the  children make and personalize invitations, which encouraged parents and caregivers to attend. We also  included the event on our calendar, giving families plenty of time to plan and spread the word. It was an  amazing night and a great opportunity to discuss the programs we host at the Club.     A child’s mother whom we’d never met before showed up that day, hours before the event, asking to  volunteer. We were so excited to finally meet her and to see her willingness to help. She shot pool with  the kids, and then, at dinnertime, she put on her apron and hair net and helped serve. This event got her  involved in the Club, and now we see much more of her. That night, we also got to meet fathers that we  had never seen before. Many of our children come from single‐mother homes or have grandparents as  caretakers, but, to our surprise, we saw many fathers this night. Often we assume that families are run  only by the mothers because the fathers do not often come to the Club. But they came out for this, and it  was wonderful.    We fed almost 200 people that night. We even ran out of chairs! We saw parents who have been involved  before, alongside some new faces. We saw fathers with their families. We saw grandparents, aunts, uncles  and siblings.      ‐ Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Club, Chicago, Ill.  

Bridging Families    Through
Family
PLUS
programming,
Clubs
are
often
able
to
get
parents
and
caregivers
in
even
 the
most
difficult
of
family
circumstances
involved
in
the
lives
of
their
children.
In
McAllen,
 Texas,
for
example,
Boys
&
Girls
Club
professionals
provide
a
six‐week
co‐parenting
education
 program
for
parents
who
are
divorced
or
separated,
to
learn
how
to
continue
working
together
 with
and
for
their
children.
There
is
also
a
six‐week
program
for
young
parents,
ages
16
to
24,
 which
helps
them
understand
their
own
needs
and
how
to
balance
all
of
the
responsibilities
of


Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
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  being
a
new
parent.
Then
there
is
“Parenting
Time,”
a
neutral
exchange
and
visitation
program
 in
which
the
Club
becomes
a
fun,
safe
place
for
children
to
interact
with
their
non‐custodial
 parent
without
confrontation
between
the
two
parents.
Services
such
as
the
ones
offered
in
 McAllen
and
at
other
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
can
make
the
difference
in
whether
a
parent
is
able
to
 stay
involved
in
the
life
of
their
child.

 
 Consider
the
following
story
from
Clubs
serving
difficult‐to‐reach
parents
and
caregivers:
  

We held a Family PLUS Take & Bake Pizza Night from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., making it easy for parents to  participate right at pick‐up time. Even parents who forgot about the event could still join in, because the  Club provided all the ingredients. Each family made a pizza at the Club, and, once their creations were  complete, we supplied them with juice, water, decks of cards and a list of family‐oriented card games. The  point of the event was to allow the families to have dinner on us and, while their pizzas were baking, to  spend some time interacting as a family.    We had 23 parents, grandparents, foster parents, aunts, sisters and caregivers attend, with 46 youth and  teens participating with their families. Several attendees inquired about helping at our upcoming  fundraisers and gave us ideas for future family events.    We often do not see the parents of our teen members, as these parents do not need to come to the Club to  pick up their children. A few of our teens really wanted to participate in the Take & Bake Pizza Night, so  they repeatedly called their parents and asked them to come to the Club. One teen boy called his mother,  reiterating, “Okay, so you’ll be in here in five minutes, right?” His mother came, and this was the first time  she had actually set foot in the Club in the two years her sons have been members. The boys were so  excited to be there sharing their Club with her.    ‐ Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, Sedro‐Woolley Extension, Sedro‐Woolley, Wash. 

  An
important
component
of
the
Family
PLUS
strategy
are
the
special
efforts
Clubs
make
to
 serve
foster
parents,
grandparents
and
other
kinship
caregivers,
who
represent
a
growing
 percentage
of
the
American
adults
raising
young
people.
Here
is
an
example
from
a
Club:
  

Six years ago, my sister left her two sons with our mother, so I personally have seen the struggles faced  by grandparents and other family members raising children, as well as the struggles of the youth  themselves. In Box Elder County, this problem continues to grow. Our biggest success has been the Club’s  family parties, where caregivers get a night off from making dinner, are able to spend time with their kids,  and are shown that they are not alone, that the Club has help to offer. The family parties have shown us  how much stress caregivers are under through the fact that simple craft activities and board games can  bring them so much enjoyment. Families do want to spend time together, but even those in traditional  two‐parent households can feel overwhelmed and easily forget the importance of family time.    At our first family party in January, an attendee, Mrs. Cooke, shared a story with me. After leaving an  abusive husband, she had raised six children on her own in California, with help from the local Boys &  Girls Club. After her children had grown, Mrs. Cooke remarried and moved to Utah with her new husband.  A year ago, their grandson Cody came to live with them. Mrs. Cooke was thrilled to learn that there was a  Boys & Girls Club in Brigham City, because she knew the Club would help her and her husband with Cody,  just as the California Club had helped her with her own children.  

  ‐ Boys & Girls Clubs of Brigham City, Utah 

 

 

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Success
Stories
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Family
PLUS
Strategy


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    While
the
parents
and
caregivers
of
Club
members
receive
resources
and
opportunities
to
 strengthen
their
families,
these
adult
family
members,
in
turn,
help
make
stronger
Clubs
and
 programs,
as
described
here:
  

Keystone Club members worked with Club staff and FAN Club parents to establish a Community Closet  that provides apparel to families in need. Since its inception, 125 parents, caregivers and Club members  have accessed the Community Closet for needs ranging from job interview attire to homecoming dresses  to everyday wear.     FAN Club parents and Club members have made personal donations to the Community Closet. Then,  during National Family Week, the Club launched a month‐long service project to collect more shoes,  clothing, winter coats, food and funds for local families in need. FAN Club members organized bake sales  and made appeals for donations to Club staff and families. As a result, our Community Closet has been  replenished, several local homeless shelters have received items they desperately need during the winter  months, more than 30 Club members have received new winter jackets, and the FAN Club raised  approximately $200 to purchase Christmas presents and a holiday meal for a family in need.    Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, Thomas H. Lutsey Boys & Girls Club, Green Bay, Wis.   

Small Successes Have Big Meaning    The
successes
we
see
with
the
children
in
the
Club’s
Community
Resource
Center
for
 people
with
autism
can
sometimes
seem
insignificant
to
outside
spectators,
but
they
are
 very
important
to
us.
During
this
past
session,
a
mother
approached
me
and
told
me
that
 she
had
just
witnessed
her
son—for
the
first
time
in
his
life—
carry
on
a
conversation
in
 which
he
asked
a
question
about
something
another
boy
was
interested
in.
This
success
 could
seem
like
an
everyday
occurrence,
but
the
mother
was
so
excited
by
this
 experience,
she
was
almost
brought
to
tears.
This
likely
would
not
have
occurred
outside
 the
nurturing
environment
that
this
program
creates.
It
provides
children
suffering
from
a
 wide
range
of
disabilities
with
a
place
where
they
do
not
have
to
fear
bullying,
peer
 pressure
or
that
they
will
be
made
fun
of.
 
 ‐ Ludlow Boys Club & Girls Club Corporation,   Ludlow Boys Club & Girls Club, Inc., Ludlow, Mass.    Building Economic Opportunity  
 Providing
economic
opportunity
is
one
of
the
major
goals
of
Family
PLUS
programming
in
Boys
 &
Girls
Clubs.
Sometimes
that
means
helping
adult
family
members
find
jobs,
educational
 opportunities
or
financial
counseling.
Other
times
it
simply
means
helping
parents
and
 caregivers
ensure
that
they
can
meet
the
basic
needs
of
their
families
—
such
as
helping
 families
obtain
assistance
with
paying
rent
and
utility
bills.
Families
in
Garden
Grove,
Calif.,
for
 example,
can
look
to
their
Boys
&
Girls
Club
for
help
enrolling
in
medical
insurance,
for
vision
 and
dental
screenings,
mental
health
services
for
children
and
families,
English
language
classes,


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PLUS
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  parenting
classes,
tax
preparation,
family
activities
in
the
Club
and
even
opportunities
to
dine
 and
discuss
community
issues
with
local
politicians.
In
the
Family
Literacy
program,
parents
and
 children
learn
English
together,
and
parents
receive
lessons
about
such
vital
life
skills
as
 opening
a
bank
account,
helping
their
children
with
homework
and
job
interview
strategies.
 Other
Clubs
have
stories
like
this
one
to
tell:
 Three years ago, a Club family was struck with the sudden loss of the children’s father, who was the  primary provider for the family. The boys had been attending the Club, but stopped while the family  adjusted to the father’s death. The mother struggled, but continued to care for the children, and they  came back to the Club. She started working, and things appeared to be going well for the family.   

 

The mother was shocked, however, this past spring, when she lost her job and was unable to pay her bills.  The whole family was once again thrown into survival mode. Fortunately, this mother spoke to a Club  professional, who advised her of openings in the Club. She was hired and remains a member of our staff.  In the fall, the mother was having difficulties with her children’s state‐funded health insurance, so she  decided to utilize our Family Support program. During her intake, we were able to not only help her with  her insurance, but also signed her children up for free vision screening and eye care. It was also  determined that she and the children were suffering from depression. We made appointments for all  family members to see a therapist to help deal with the traumatic loss of the father. As a result, the boys’  school work and social lives have dramatically changed. One of the children has since been referred to the  public schools’ Gifted and Talented program, and episodes of acting out have been reduced. 

  The boys still attend the Club, and the mother still works for our organization. She was surprised by the  services and resources our Family Support program offers, and has referred other families to our  program. This past Christmas, the mother was able to purchase new bikes for the boys – a first! –and  shared this exciting news with us. We have signed the children up for our Bike Helmet Distribution  Program where they are to be outfitted with helmets and given a demonstration on safety.    We are so proud of this family and the strength they have exhibited throughout this process. Their  willingness to reach out for help, and our staff’s perceptive eyes and ears have made a positive impact on  this family’s future. 

 

‐ Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove, Calif. 

Feeding Bodies, Minds and Souls    At
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs,
food
and
nutrition
programming
are
part
of
the
efforts
to
not
only
make
 sure
Club
members’
and
their
families’
basic
needs
are
met,
they
are
tools
for
creating
stronger,
 healthier
families
and
for
combating
the
rising
trend
in
childhood
obesity.
Clubs
serve
healthy
 family
meals
and
send
members
home
with
healthy
provisions,
while
promoting
good
nutrition
 outside
the
Club
walls
with
Club
gardens
and
produce
markets.
Clubs
also
offer
healthy
eating
 workshops
for
young
people
and
adults,
and
cooking
classes
families
can
take
together.
 Consider
some
of
these
Club
success
stories:
 Our biggest success this quarter was our Thanksgiving Turkey giveaway. Through a partnership with  Stop & Shop, our Club was able to distribute a turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberries to more than 250  families in our Club. This event was a great way for us to show our families that we care and to  demonstrate our commitment to serving them through these tough economic times.   

Putting
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Success
Stories
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Family
PLUS
Strategy


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  We also started a partnership with Kids First and our local Stop & Shop to offer healthy cooking classes to  seven families over the course of eight weeks. Each week, families learned how to cook typical family  meals, but substituted healthier ingredients for those that were high in saturated fats. They also took a  field trip to a local grocery store to learn about the types of groceries families should stock on a regular  basis.    ‐ Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, Alfred Elson, Jr. Branch, Pawtucket, R.I. 

  A Mother’s Words Tell the Value of Home    Boys
&
Girls
Club
of
Bluffton
has
helped
homeless
families
in
our
community
get
back
on
 their
feet.
We
were
very
happy
to
welcome
one
such
family
into
our
Club,
as
a
result
of
our
 partnership
 with
 Family
 Promise,
 Beaufort
 County’s
 homeless
 shelter.
 We
 provided
 scholarship
memberships
to
the
two
children,
and
the
family,
headed
by
a
single
mother,
 was
able
to
find
a
new
home.
The
mother
told
us,
in
her
own
words,
what
these
services
 meant
to
her
family:
 
 “My
 name
 is
 Brandi.
 My
 children,
 Michael
 and
 Josh,
 are
 members
 of
 the
 Boys
 &
 Girls
 Club
in
Bluffton,
S.C.
I
am
so
very
grateful
for
the
opportunity
to
be
part
of
the
‘family’
 of
 the
 Club.
 I
 would
 never
 have
 had
 the
 privilege
 of
 being
 a
 single,
 functional
 and
 working
 mother
 of
 two
 boys
 without
 the
 help
 and
 promise
 that
 this
 organization
 has
 fulfilled.
That
promise
includes:
friendship,
educational
activities,
fun
and
an
exceptional
 staff
that
I
trust.
As
a
parent,
it
is
so
very
important
to
feel
comfortable
while
you
are
 working
and
away
from
your
children.
At
the
Club,
it’s
not
about
babysitting
–
it’s
about
 real
friendships.
And
you
cannot
put
a
price
tag
on
what
the
Boys
&
Girls
Club
offers.
 The
 scholarships
 that
 have
 been
 made
 available
 to
 my
 children
 have
 been
 a
 gift.
 Without
 this
 gift,
 I
 wouldn’t
 be
 able
 to
 work,
 and
 we
 wouldn’t
 be
 able
 to
 live
 on
 our
 own.”
 
 ‐ Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry, Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton, S.C.       

Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
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BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


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Inspiring Parents  Bringing
parents
and
caregivers
into
the
Clubhouse
so
that
members
might
benefit
from
their
 involvement
is
one
of
the
greatest
endeavors
of
the
Family
PLUS
strategy,
and
it
often
creates
 amazing
results.
Not
only
do
young
people
do
better
in
school
and
have
better
chances
for
 positive
outcomes
when
their
parents
and
caregivers
are
involved
in
the
Club,
these
committed
 adults
also
provide
important
leadership
and
sources
of
community
connections
for
Clubs.
 
 In
2010,
BGCA
and
Kimberly‐Clark
Corporation
celebrated
the
unique
contributions
of
parents,
 grandparents
and
caregivers
by
recognizing
five
female
caregivers
and
five
male
caregivers
with
 the
Family
PLUS
Inspirational
Mom
and
Inspirational
Father
awards.
 
 Club
professionals
crafted
essays
detailing
the
contributions
of
each
of
the
nominees.
Beginning
 with
the
mothers
and
female
caregivers,
in
the
words
of
Club
staff,
these
are
their
stories.

   Inspirational Parents – The Moms   Kimberly Parsons  Boys & Girls Club of Pleasants County, St. Mary’s, W.Va.    Kim Parsons is mother to Alyssa and Jordan and wife to Chris. Kim’s unwavering support for her family,  her integrity in times of difficulty and her dedication and exemplary service to the Club make her an  outstanding mother. When Kim’s daughter was two years old, she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic  leukemia. Kim was by Alyssa’s side, determined to help her daughter recover. Once her daughter—who  has now been cancer‐free for 13 years—recovered, Kim encouraged her to participate in many different  activities, including the Club, and patiently helped her through several years of adjustments.     Kim’s children first joined the Club eight years ago, which is when our relationship with her began. She  was one of those mothers who always volunteered to help, asking what she could do. She was not  concerned about receiving recognition and was willing to do both big and small things. Sometimes she  would just come into the Club and start wiping tables down or helping children pick up their games. Her  quiet, unassuming example was refreshing, and Club professionals and other parents couldn’t help but  notice. Kim has also recruited other parents for National Night Out events, assisted in planning and  carrying out special events like the Ducky Derby and much more.         Last summer, the Club’s board of governors decided to encourage greater parent involvement by passing  a new requirement that all parents contribute $100 worth of service or in‐kind items as part of the Club’s  annual Back a Kid campaign. Club leadership turned to Kim, who reached out to parents to help them  understand the new requirement. She made phone calls and spent time at parent meetings and  orientations explaining the choices for meeting the requirement, and is still part of the work group  refining this requirement. Kim is also an advocate for our members; she speaks up on their behalf and  helps them solve problems. Recently, Kim worked with a group of teen girls, guiding them to speak up  about having been bullied by peers at school.        In 2004, Kim was nominated to serve on the board of directors as a parent representative. She continues  to serve actively in this capacity and is presently on the resource development, marketing and parent &  volunteer involvement committee. She has completed many training sessions in order to learn her roles  and responsibilities, including attending a leadership conference with the executive director, after which  she reported back to the entire board about her experience.    

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   “Kim is a working mother, but she always uses some of her vacation time to help set up and prepare for  the annual Local Heroes Dinner that is the Club’s premier fundraiser,” says the Club’s PERC Plus  coordinator, Sherri West. Kim can be found early in the morning taping floor covering down and moving  tables into place. Later that same evening, she will often be there again, refreshed and proud to be at the  event as one of the Club’s strongest supporters. Kim does not seek recognition, nor does she ever feel that  she’s above any request made of her. The Club will honor her at a Local Heroes Dinner.    Rhonda Shaffer  Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County, Bellingham, Wash.    Rhonda Shaffer is the thread that holds the fabric of our Club together. Her relentless ability to lead, unite  and serve is inspiring. Rhonda is the Club’s program director. Her leadership is evident every day as she  demands excellence in her staff and their relationships with the kids. She challenges each Club  professional to reach out to other kids, new kids and kids who are struggling in any area. In addition to  being an inspiring supervisor to her staff, Rhonda also leads and mentors youth. Through programs such  as Torch Club, Rhonda provides youth with opportunities to learn and practice leadership by  contributing to their neighborhoods and communities. She encourages them to take ownership of their  Club, their school, their neighborhood and their lives. She leads by example.     Rhonda unites people of all ages and backgrounds, bringing them together with one vision in mind: to  enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive,  caring, responsible citizens. She brings people together in the most unlikely of situations. For example,  for the local Youth of the Year competition, she finds passionate and caring community leaders to be the  judges. This provides the judges and the young people with opportunities to connect and share. She also  brings families together during Family Fun Nights, where she leads and unites families in recreational  activities at the Club. One evening, during a kids dance‐off, one of the Club fathers was so inspired that he  joined in and even did the splits!    Rhonda exemplifies the meaning of “service.” She has  strong ties to local agencies and organizations, such as the  “If
they
figure
out
how
to
clone
 local Kiwanis. She has empowered many groups, like City  humans,
I
want
a
whole
army
of
 Year, Kiwanis and T‐Mobile to “adopt” the Club and  commit to service projects. She is hands‐on and takes her  Rhondas!”
–
Club
staff
 role seriously, but also with much humor. She is the first  one to arrive in the morning, and often the last to leave.  She has a wonderful saying that sums up her service: “Boys & Girls Clubs is not a job – it is a lifestyle.”    This past December, the Bellingham Club’s Youth of the Year, Vang L. – who is now the Washington State  Youth of the Year – faced a terrible tragedy. His mother passed away two weeks before Christmas.  Rhonda stepped up and rallied the entire community to help Vang and his teen siblings, whose father was  not in the country, to care for them. Rhonda made numerous phone calls to family members, community  members and agencies to make sure Vang and his siblings were cared for while they waited for their  father to return from Vietnam. She collected clothes, food, gift cards, toiletries and more to make sure  their daily needs were met. Rhonda provided support, a listening ear, kindness and love to these kids  while they began to learn to live without their mother. In his Youth of the Year speech, Vang spoke  emotionally about Rhonda and his family at the Boys & Girls Club. Rhonda has a unique ability to bring  community together and improve a challenging situation. 

 

Tammy Schmittle  Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pa.    Not only is Tammy Schmittle a fantastic advocate for the Club, she is also a wonderful mother to two  great kids. In addition to raising her children and working full time, Tammy frequently volunteers at the  Club. She attends every parent night and helps Club staff with anything we need. Tammy made cookies 

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  for a member‐run bake sale, transports her children and others to Club events, and even gave up an  entire day to help us with an annual community event called Family Fun Fest.    For Boys & Girls Club Week, we collected toiletries for the Alice Paul House, a local safe house, as a  service‐learning project. Tammy asked her employers at Walmart to match her $25 donation, and they  did. She was able to donate $50 worth of toiletries to our drive. Tammy also supported our Keystone Club  by organizing a watershed clean‐up and hoagie fundraiser. She also raises money for the Club by working  overtime at Walmart. For every hour of overtime she works, Walmart donates money to the Club or other  charity of her choice. So far, she has raised more than $500 for the Club.     Tammy is very involved in everything that happens in her children’s lives as well. Both children  participate in different sports and activities outside of school, and she makes sure that they, as well as  their friends, get to every practice. She helped her daughter, Kaylee, become our 2009‐2010 Youth of the  Year and has been present for every step of that process. She is teaching Kaylee to become a caring and  responsible young adult and ensures that Kaylee does her best to become involved in any opportunity  that comes her way. 

 

Jennifer Flory  Boys & Girls Clubs of Green Country, Pryor, Okla.    When Jennifer Flory’s daughter, Nora, became a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Green Country, she  loved attending the Club. She often asks to stay until closing. Her daughter’s love for the Club soon  became Jennifer’s as well. She is now one of our biggest advocates, praising the Boys & Girls Clubs of  Green Country wherever she goes and to whoever will listen.    Jennifer’s first order of business  was to get inexpensive and  “Jennifer
Flory
has
proven
to
be
just
the
sort
of
young
 better coverage of health  leader
we
are
trying
to
cultivate
in
our
community…now
 benefits for the organization.  we
just
have
to
keep
her
from
doing
too
much
so
she
 Because she works for an  doesn’t
burn
out!”
–
Barbara
Hawkins,
Chair,

 insurance company, she was able  to do this for us. She often is one  Chamber
of
Commerce
 of our most dependable  volunteers. She is planning an  etiquette session for the SMART Girls program, with a celebratory mother‐daughter tea party that she  will personally sponsor. Not only is this fun for both girls and their moms, but it also provides the girls  with skills needed to develop them into professional young ladies. Jennifer was the first parent to join the  Parent Involvement Team (PIT Crew) and has played a huge role in recruiting other parents to become  volunteers as well. This is crucial to the organization. With recent budget cuts, staffing the Club is  becoming more and more difficult, and the Club relies upon the parent volunteers.    Jennifer is one of those people who always feels compelled to become involved. Since completing the  Mayes County Leadership Academy, Jennifer has become one of the most active leaders in our community.  She is now a Chamber of Commerce board member, Rotary member, Mayes County Ambassadors  Association member, MCLA Alumni member, and recently pledged to Monday Forum. We are all very  proud of our Club mom and believe she is a valuable asset to our Club and community.    Melissa Graves  Boys & Girls Clubs of the Monroe Area, Madisonville, Tenn.    Melissa has to be one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. Even with all the challenges she  may face, Melissa heads into each day with a great attitude, passing that along to those she encounters.  It would be hard enough to do all Melissa has to do as a full‐time, self‐employed mother of four, but  Melissa and her children must do it all in the absence of her husband, Brian. Brian is currently serving in 

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  Iraq, deployed for 445 days this time. His first deployment required him to be away while their fourth  child was born, leaving Melissa to care for three school‐age children, all Club members, and their infant.    Melissa has a way of affecting others positively,  spurring those around her to action and has  “When
Melissa
comes
to
pick
up
Pryor,
 demonstrated this in her role on the PIT Crews  her
son,
she
always
stops
to
see
how
we
 for the Madisonville unit and Teen Center. She is  are
and
how
Pryor’s
behavior
was
–
 forever helpful and accommodating to Club staff  regardless
of
how
hard
or
long
her
day
 and the organization. Melissa often provides food,  materials, demonstrations and other services,  has
been.
She
takes
pride
in
Pryor’s
 along with organizing fundraisers, recruiting  academics
and
his
behavior.”
–
Jeremiah
 volunteers and securing support for Club projects.  

McDaniel,
Teen
Center
staff
   Inspirational Parents – The Fathers     Fathers
play
an
integral
role
in
shaping
the
lives
of
youth,
at
home
and
in
the
Club.
Research
 shows
that
children
who
grow
up
without
responsible
fathers
are
more
likely
to
experience
 poverty,
struggle
in
school,
abuse
drugs
or
alcohol
and
become
involved
in
crime.
Involved
 fathers
and
male
caregivers
promote
children’s
academic
success,
social
and
emotional
 development
and
positive
behavior.

 
 Clubs
report
that
getting
fathers
involved
in
programming
encourages
youth
participation
and
 improves
behavior.
The
Family
PLUS
program
seeks
to
do
just
that
–
keep
fathers
involved
and
 help
improve
our
young
people’s
lives.
This
is
what
Club
professionals
wrote
about
the
winning
 male
caregivers.
   Angel Torres  Boys & Girls Club of McAllen, Texas    Angel Torres is a 23‐year‐old father of two. He was referred to the Club so that we could facilitate  visitation between him and his eldest daughter, Ariel. Ariel was 2 years old, and it had been more than a  year since he had last seen her. When Angel came in to the Club, I advised him how important it would be  for him to do his part, regardless of the outcome. I knew, due to the history of the case, that the likelihood  of Ariel’s mother bringing her for a visit was slim.    Angel arrived for his first visit as scheduled. He brought a  “Angel
Torres
made
a
 small backpack with him. I escorted him to our library, where  he unpacked a coloring book, crayons, a juice box and some  commitment
to
be
a
part
of
his
 crackers. He was ecstatic. The mother, Sophia, arrived with  daughter’s
life
and,
because
of
 Ariel and signed her in, but, when it was time for the mother to  this
commitment,
he
now
is.”
 leave, she refused to leave her daughter. I went into the library  –
Club
staff
 and let Angel know that Ariel would not be staying. He packed  up his stuff and said “I understand.” I did not expect to see Mr.  Torres again.    But, the following weekend, Angel arrived as scheduled. He was excited to see Ariel. When Sophia came,  she again refused to leave the daughter. I again let Mr. Torres know, and he left disappointed. But, week  after week, for three months, Angel came in for his scheduled visits and waited.    For the next six months, we watched as Angel Torres visited with his daughter. Every week, he would  bring her toys, read her books, watch movies with her and play dolls with her. To him, all that mattered 

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  was that he was with his daughter. After three months, we went to court, and, because of Angel’s tenacity,  we were able to provide the judge with enough evidence to work in his favor. The following weekend,  Angel came in as usual, but this time, Sophia had no choice but leave Ariel.    Carlos Martinez‐Olivas  East Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club, Los Angeles, Calif.     It was a fortuitous day when Carlos walked into our Clubhouse in the summer of 2005. His ex‐wife had  enrolled their two daughters in our program, and he wanted to see where they were spending their time.  Due to a difficult divorce, he was having a hard time coordinating visitation sessions.    Carlos has since become an integral part of our Club family, and we even hired him in 2007. He liked the  Club, so he asked whether he could volunteer. First, he offered to fix our broken fans. It was a hot summer,  so we quickly accepted his offer. After that, he began coming by to help our facilities manager with  landscaping and general handyman work. As our building is 60 years old, there was always plenty of  work for him to do. It was a win‐win situation, because Carlos also got to spend time with his daughters  at the Club.    Unfortunately, many people today have jaded opinions about fathers and assume that they will bail or  leave their families the first chance they get, but Carlos proves the opposite. He says that many of his  family members back home in Mexico are asking him why he doesn’t come back, arguing that there is  nothing here for him. He tells them they’re wrong: his reason for living here is his two daughters.    When our facilities manager left  “There
isn’t
anything
Carlos
wouldn’t
do
for
the
Club
 in 2007, we quickly offered the  position to Carlos. He does  and
his
daughters.
He
has
a
wonderful
philosophy
 everything! He gives more hours  about
life
and
connects
with
nature.
Life
has
not
been
 than required and clocks out to  easy
for
him,
but
he
has
found
ways
to
persevere
and
 volunteer for additional hours.  look
at
the
bright
side,
and
is
grateful
for
all
he
has.
I
 He also serves as a van driver  and has asked to coach soccer.  see
that
he
has
many
friends
and
I
understand
why.
He
 He fixes and cleans in the  is
a
wonderful
employee
and
ambassador
for
our
 mornings, picks up Club  Club.”
–
Anna
Araujo,
CPO,

 members from schools from 1:00  East
Los
Angeles
Boys
&
Girls
Club
 to 3:30 p.m. and then coaches  our soccer teams until 7 p.m. He  has even recruited neighborhood  kids that he sees hanging out in the streets to come to the Club and play soccer. He initiated our Club’s  collaboration with the Club America soccer program, which has brought 170 new members to the Club  and given our members access to the training services of this for‐profit soccer academy.    Carlos grew up in a rural area of Mexico, where he lived off the land, and he now shares his love of nature  by inviting members to help him in the garden and to plant flowers around the Club. Working in the  garden has become a reward for members who complete their homework.     Carlos tells me that he was raised by a woman from his town who took him in, and I think that is why he  understands so well that you do not have to be a child’s flesh‐and‐blood parent to make a difference in his  or her life. I’m not sure he realizes that he now has many more children than his own two daughters. We  were all blessed when Carlos‐Martinez Olivas walked through our front door, and we hope that our Club  has blessed him in return.          Dave Young 

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  Ludlow Boys Club & Girls Club Corporation, Ludlow Boys Club & Girls Club, Inc., Ludlow, Mass.    Dave has a long‐standing history with Ludlow Boys & Girls Club and has demonstrated a high level of  leadership. He was instrumental in a number of developments within the organization. He has helped us  bring to fruition some of our structural updates, such as an outdoor pavilion, updated plumbing in the  locker rooms and a drinking fountain for youth. He has an upbeat, positive attitude that unites and helps  to retain members in the Club, as well as involving members of the local business community.     Dave has served the Club for more than five years. He volunteers his time every month to sit on the Club’s  program committee, in which he has helped the Club develop programming to support its strategic plan.  He also volunteers his and his  children’s time to help with many  “Over
the
past
five‐plus
years
that
I
have
known
Dave
 special events throughout the year.   Young,
I
guess
the
two
things
that
stick
out
the
most
   are,
first,
the
fact
that
he
is
always
smiling
and,
 Dave’s most active role in the Club  second,
his
tremendous
dedication.
I
wish
I
could
 is as a volunteer baseball coach in  our 8‐ to 10‐year‐old baseball  bottle
and
sell
the
dedication
he
has
shows
for
his
 program. Dave takes on the role of  family,
his
community
and
the
mission
of
this
 a father to these 15 kids for six or  organization.”

 more hours each week. He teaches  –
Dan
D’Angelo,
Director
of
Operations,

 them to respect each other as well  as the opposing team. Dave teaches  Ludlow
Boys
&
Girls
Club
Corporation
 them not only the fundamentals of  baseball, but also makes sure  everyone is happy and excited to return to play baseball the following year. Dave understands, better  than any other coach I have seen at this level, that there are more important things than simply winning  the game. The team’s success is not driven by wins and losses, but instead by making sure each player  improves throughout the year and is more prepared to play again the following year.     Both of Dave’s children have grown up at the Club. They have participated in our afterschool and summer  camp programs, as well as sports such as baseball and track & field. The family balances its members’  busy schedules with their commitment to volunteering for the Club, together as a family.    Michael Rice  Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Lloyd H. Diehl Club, Farmington Hills, Mich.    Michael has been an advocate for youth and serves as a volunteer, basketball coach, Club photographer,  special events assistant and mentor at the Lloyd H. Diehl Club.  Michael’s actions make him a leader for  other parents. He is always the first to offer his assistance in planning and implementing Family PLUS  activities. He uses his experience as an auto assembly worker to rally parents, especially male caregivers,  behind the common goal of helping kids grow into responsible, self‐reliant, caring adults.     Michael strongly believes in utilizing whatever resources are on hand. He also believes that everyone has  something to offer, whether it is money, in‐kind donations or time. He believes it is important that  parents lead youth in positive directions by introducing them to as many positive role models and  experiences as possible. A mentor doesn’t have to be a lawyer or a doctor, and you don’t have to spend a  lot of money in order to affect children’s lives. You simply need to show them that you care and recognize  their efforts to do the right thing.     One of the many local adults who have fallen victim to recent auto industry layoffs in Michigan, Michael  nonetheless continues to call on his co‐workers, friends and associates to be part of the Club. For Michael,  the Club filled a void left by the loss of his job and helped him regain his sense of self worth. Being  involved with Family PLUS gave him something positive to focus on, a cause to which he could dedicate  his energy and talents to the most precious resource we have – our kids. He is a true advocate for Boys &  Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, particularly for our Family PLUS programs. Michael makes use of 

Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
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Family
PLUS
Strategy


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  every opportunity he encounters to talk about the Club’s role in shaping the youth of tomorrow. He is  planning a father‐daughter luncheon at the Club to recognize the importance of all male caregivers in the  lives of their children. He also plans to host a special “mentor day” at the Club, during which local male  mentors and fathers would be encouraged to reach out to children who do not have positive male role  models in their lives.    Chad VanDonkelaar  Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, Hobe Sound, Fla.    Among the many and varied programs offered at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County is basketball. In  2009 the Club earned the national ranking of fourth in its league. As a result of this acclaim, the Club  began attracting new members who wanted to play basketball. With only one full‐time athletic director  and no athletic support staff, this became a challenge, as the Club could not afford to hire new staff. When  he learned of our dilemma, Chad offered to adjust his work schedule so that he could be in the Club at  least twice per week to assist with the basketball program. Before long, Chad, a single dad with an 8‐year‐ old son, launched a campaign to get some of his friends, other parents at the Club and new parents to  volunteer for the basketball program.     The program grew so much that, on the afternoons of basketball practices, 30 to 50 parents,  grandparents and other relatives could be found in the gymnasium cheering the kids on. We have an  elementary‐school‐age team run solely by volunteers, and these volunteer provide other benefits to the  Club, too. Chad has challenged these volunteers: If they each also volunteered with at least one non‐ basketball program, he would ask management to allow the adults themselves to play basketball at the  Club twice per week. Now, in addition to basketball, these parents assist with homework help, special  events, our garden project, field trips and daily, general cleaning. But Chad’s group has not stopped there:  they’ve gone on to raise funds for our programs, too.     Whatever challenge presents itself, the  “Chad’s
concern
is
so
sincere!
His
concern
for,
 Club can depend on Chad and his group  and
help
with
the
kids,
extends
beyond
their
 of volunteers to help out. At Family PLUS  events, Chad rallies the parents to come  educational
activities
and
lives.
He
is
greatly
 out and support us. At an event dubbed  respected
everywhere!
That
is
how
he
was
able
 “So you think you know salads,” Chad’s  to
convince
us
to
volunteer
for
the
Boys
&
Girls
 entire family, as well as his friends and  Clubs,
too.”
–
Rick
Brisky,
Club
volunteer
 their families, attended. He has  persuaded his mother’s employer, a retail  merchandiser, to make monthly  donations to us of their out‐of‐season items, which we use as gifts at our parties for good grades, good  behavior and birthdays, or sell at sidewalk sales to generate funds for our snack program.    One demonstration of the impact of Chad’s group on our organization is that one of the basketball teams  they coach earned first place in the 8‐year‐old category of the NBA Fit Dish Dribble and Swish regional  finals, and another has won two first place spots in the 11‐year‐old category of the iHoops regional  competition.     Through his dedication and commitment to Club programs, Chad has proven himself. Most importantly,  he has developed the art of leadership and has inspired other parents to participate at the Club. He  provides social, emotional and logistical support when we need it most. He guides and keeps members of  our volunteer team motivated, getting them to perform to the best of their abilities. 

Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
18
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Inspiring Clubs 

  Organizations
throughout
the
Boys
&
Girls
Club
Movement
are
going
beyond
the
Club
walls
to
 build
stronger
children,
families
and
communities
with
their
family
strengthening
programs.
 Some
of
those
Clubs’
exceptional
programs
have
been
recognized
with
the
Annie
E.
Casey
 Foundation’s
prestigious
Families
Count
Family
Strengthening
Awards.
The
Club
programs
 highlighted
in
this
sections
–
award
winners
from
the
years
2006‐2009
–
work
to
give
children
 what
they
need
most:
strong,
capable
and
economically
successful
families.
Responding
to
the
 varied
needs
of
the
families
they
serve,
these
organizations
improve
the
economic
prospects
of
 working
men
and
women,
and
create
the
services
and
networks
of
support
that
all
families
 need
to
realize
their
aspirations
for
themselves
and
their
children.
   Boys & Girls Clubs, Raleigh, N.C. (2009)    Parents have often turned to the Boys & Girls Clubs seeking advice and information about services to help  them through unemployment, language barriers and other issues. Recognizing the importance of strong  families in children’s lives, the Clubs offer numerous supports to help parents access resources and build  their skills. At the Brentwood Boys & Girls Club, a bilingual director offers English language and computer  classes for parents – 86 percent of whom are Hispanic and speak limited English. The Raleigh Boys Club  holds seminars for parents focused on economic opportunities with partners such as the University of  North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Thanks to a Club homeownership seminar, one parent purchased a new  home. Inspired by this success, more parents are working to achieve the homeownership goal, and a  second homeownership seminar is scheduled for the fall.    Boys & Girls Club of Springfield, Mo. (2009)    Family strengthening initiatives are built into the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield’s strategic plan,  demonstrating a true commitment to meeting families’ needs. At the Henderson Boys & Girls Club, staff  members actively seek out parent input through a parent advisory council, surveys and a suggestion box.  The Club also supports parents and caregivers through numerous efforts including kinship care  programs that provide connections to community resources and mentors, free tax preparation services  for families and a career fair with 20 companies to help parents find jobs. Community partnerships allow  the Club to offer a wide range of comprehensive supports, including free vision and hearing testing, free  dental care and holiday meals.    Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, Wilmington, Del. (2009)    In response to the growing population of Latino families in the area, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club  offers numerous programs that help low‐income, immigrant parents develop their skills and support  their families’ economic self‐sufficiency. Partnering with other local agencies such as the Delaware Early  Childhood Center and Delaware Department of Social Services, the Club offers English language classes,  counseling services, financial education seminars, parenting skills classes, English language classes and  food assistance.    Santa Fe Boys & Girls Club, N.M. (2009)    With a strong support network, families and children can flourish. That is the philosophy at the Santa Fe  Boys & Girls Club. With help from numerous community partners, the Club provides many supports for  parents and caregivers that address their diverse needs. One program helps support extended family  members who have guardianship of children with newly incarcerated parents. Another program teaches  financial responsibility to teens and parents. The Club also distributes more than 96,000 meals to families  and offers a summer food program for children. Through the Club, families get help to register for 

Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
19
of
33 

  Medicaid and receive free tax preparation services as well. In 2009, families received $6.7 million in  refunds with the Clubs’ help.    Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County, Bellingham, Wash. (2009)    As the premier youth development organization in its county, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County  offers an array of supports for families and children. The Club serves a diverse population – children of  immigrants from Russia and other Eastern European nations, Hispanic migrant youth and tribal youth.  To help families maintain stability, build strong relationships and develop economic opportunities, the  Club offers English language classes, computer skills and job skills classes that teach resume‐building,  parenting classes and family fun nights. The Club also takes field trips to local colleges and connects  families with agencies like the Other Bank, which provides needed household items.    Salesian Boys & Girls Club of Los Angeles, Calif. (2009)    Spurred by families seeking help from staff, the Salesian Boys & Girls Club of Los Angeles developed a  parent survey and discovered that parents wanted resources and information on topics ranging from  communication to nutrition. Since then, the Club began its Family of Parents program, holding monthly  evening meetings for parents to hear from local experts and gain access to available community  resources. Led by a bilingual social worker from the Roybal Family Mental Health Clinic, the sessions  have taught parents about depression, drug prevention, teen pregnancy, domestic violence and more. The  sessions have also helped parents connect with supports such as health care services, legal assistance and  employment opportunities.    Challengers Boys & Girls Club, Los Angeles, Calif. (2006)    Higher Aspirations  For many parents in South Central Los Angeles, Wells Fargo and Citibank have recently become more  than just names on prominent downtown skyscrapers. Together with the LA Credit Union, these banks  are part of a Challengers Boys & Girls Club financial literacy program that equips parents with important  money management and planning skills. Together with young people from the community, these parents  become students for six weeks, learning strategies for budgeting, saving, establishing good credit and  optimizing even limited assets. This opportunity supports a family’s first efforts to find the economic  stability needed to achieve major goals, such as homeownership or college education.    “Many parents don’t trust banks and financial  “For
families
in
our
community,
 institutions. We’re giving them that first push  economic
development
means
 toward opening checking and savings accounts and  making a household budget,” says Corey Dantzler,  opening
up
financial
options
for
all
 Challengers Club’s President and CEO. “When the  parents
and
enabling
them
to
give
 kids, who are also gaining skills, see their own  their
children
the
best
gift:
a
 parents beginning to prioritize finances, it sets a  promising
future.”
 good path for them as well.”    —Corey
Dantzler,
President
and
CEO,
 Modeling Long‐Term Success  Challengers
Boys
&
Girls
Club
 While these families may be new to using a bank for  managing money, the Challengers Club staff often  discovers that debt, especially credit card debt, is a substantial factor in many of their lives. The program  responds specifically to this challenge by helping parents take steps to repair their credit and build a  good credit history. “It’s an area of great concern,” notes Dantzler. “Our goal must be helping parents  replace long‐term debt with long‐term goals. We show them that waiting too long to save for college  might lead to their child’s dropping out of school. Hope might be their most precious commodity.”    By engaging both parents and children, the financial literacy course is another program that helps  families exercise active responsibility in their communities. While the Club designs some initiatives to 

Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
Strategy


Page
20
of
33 

  target primarily young people – such as those in the SMART (Skills Mastery And Resistance Training)  model that address issues such as drug and alcohol use – many more bring families together to begin  dialogues about important problems impacting their neighborhoods.    These programs support the vision of Dantzler’s late father, Lou Dantzler, the Challengers Club’s founder,  who contributed countless hours and boundless energy to improving the lives of young people and their  families for nearly four decades. “We know our kids learn by real‐life experience,” says son Corey, who  lives his own words. “When a parent becomes a role model – whether the situation has to do with saving  money or just saying yes when it matters most – that young person has what he or she needs to succeed.” 

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Fla. (2008) 

  From Family Nights to Financial Education  Family Nights at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County are more than social events during which  parents and children sit down to steaming plates of spaghetti and talk about the day. These fun dinners –  some nights there are games and other activities – are part of the Clubs’ intentional efforts to involve  and support parents so that families can thrive. As part of the Parent Liaison Initiative, each stand‐alone  Club has its own liaison who works with parents to help them obtain vocational training, legal counsel  and financial planning education, among other supports. While children say they enjoy Family Nights  because it gives them time to talk and play games with their parents, families find so many more  opportunities to improve their futures together.    “These events reinforce family unity while also promoting awareness of the role that the Boys & Girls  Clubs play in providing local families with support, whether it is with child rearing, banking or job  hunting,” says Lottie Gatewood, director of development.    When Parents are Involved, Kids Stay Involved  More than 1,000 parents have participated in parent‐oriented programs offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs  of Palm Beach County – including cooking lessons, banking seminars and resume writing classes. And  because those parents remain engaged with the Clubs, youth attendance is also high. Roughly 7,500  children attend programs at 13 Clubs in the region.    “Parents are actively engaged in our Clubs  and encouraging their children to stay  “Our
family
nights
in
the
Glades
region
are
 involved,” Gatewood says. “Through the  seeing
standing‐room‐only
events
–
a
true
 Clubs, families are not only having fun, but  success
for
such
a
rural
and
destitute
area.
 also finding useful information and links to  And,
our
parents
are
coming
to
parent
nights
 community resources like summer camp  scholarships, clothing vouchers and food.”  in
droves.
We
are
100‐percent
vested
in
   working
with
the
parents
of
our
Club
youth.”
 Parents recently formed Parent Advisory  —Lottie
Gatewood,

 Committees at Palm Beach County Clubs  Director
of
Development,

 and those committees are working to come  up with new ways to help adults. One idea  Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
Palm
Beach
County
 that came out of a committee is to hold GED  classes. Parents, most of whom earn less  than $30,000 a year, already have access to nutrition classes, father support programs and grief  counseling.    “All of these programs are designed to reach out to our Club parents,” says Gatewood. “The programs  encourage parental involvement, break down barriers that inhibit good family relationships, improve  economic stability and build better communities.” 

   

Putting
Families
First:
Success
Stories
From
BGCA’s
Family
PLUS
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  Boys & Girls Clubs of Perth Amboy, N.J. (2008)    Sending Parents to School  With the right tools and supports, parents can greatly bolster their family’s well‐being. The Family PLUS  program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Perth Amboy helps parents access the community resources they  need to do just that. The idea of establishing such a program came about after staff members realized that  parents, many of whom work odd hours at low‐paying jobs, weren’t able to take full advantage of after‐ school programs for their children. Some parents didn’t speak English, and others didn’t own a car. In an  effort to support these parents, the Boys &  Girls Clubs started the Family PLUS program  “We
have
understood
from
the
outset
that
if
 to help them become more financially stable  we
were
going
to
have
any
real
impact
on
the
 and economically prosperous. Besides  kids
we
support,
we
were
going
to
have
to
 English and GED classes, parents can attend  parenting meetings and take financial literacy  serve
the
entire
family.”

 courses that teach them how to set up savings  —
Jorge
S.
Cruz,
CPO,
 accounts. They can also meet with other  Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
Perth
Amboy
 parents in a private, comfortably‐furnished  “Parent Lounge.”      “We know that the main influence in our kids’ lives is what is going on at home,” says Jorge S. Cruz, CPO.    “So if we can help solve issues at home, we’re going to have a greater impact.”    Education Pays Off  One of the most popular classes in the Family PLUS program, which is based on a “Parent College” created  by the local school system, is the financial literacy course. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Perth Amboy  partnered with PNC and Wachovia banks to provide coursework and instructors. Roughly a quarter of  Perth Amboy families earn less than $15,000 a year. For many Family PLUS participants – there have  been 61 so far– the financial literacy class is an introduction to balancing a checkbook and budgeting.  After learning the basics, parents are referred to a financial counselor who helps them stick with their  budget and open a savings account.    The Family PLUS program not only educates parents, but also allows them to spend more time at a  facility that caters to their children. Some nights, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Perth Amboy hosts a potluck  that bring parents and their children together to share a meal, talk and have fun. At these dinners,  parents also learn about what their children have been doing at the Clubs, such as creating a public‐ service message about the dangers of drug addiction, or a colorful, papier‐mâché collage.    “These sessions really give our parents an opportunity to see what their children are doing through the  Clubs, and the bonding time together is priceless,” says Cruz. 

  Mountaineer Boys & Girls Club, Morgantown, W.Va. (2008)    With a Little Help  A little help can go a long way when parents are strapped for time and resources. That’s why the  Mountaineer Boys & Girls Club strives to support parents and families of its 700 members. At the Club,  which serves Monogalia and Marion counties in West Virginia, parents can get help finding jobs, writing  resumes, navigating their children’s schools and connecting with needed supports available in the  community. For many parents – 75 percent live below the federal poverty line and 66 percent work  entry‐level retail jobs – the Club becomes a partner in building a more successful future for their family.  Through a Parents Council, parents are active participants in guiding the Club’s programs and services.    “We always surveyed the kids on what they liked, didn’t like and wanted to do for the future,” says Dennis  Poluga, CPO. “We realized we ought to do that with parents, too. Now we regularly seek parents’ input so  we can help the whole family reach its goals.”  Computers, Family Fun Days and Physicals 

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  From offering job assistance to holding family holiday celebrations, the Mountaineer Club helps families  access community resources and develop stronger relationships with each other. Parents looking for  employment can use the Club’s computers to search local job listings and create resumes with help from  staff. For families in need of emergency assistance, the Club helps find and apply for available services  such as a state program that helps low‐income families pay their heating bills during the winter. The Club  also arranges for youth to receive a free physical when one is required for sports or summer camps.  “Sometimes families may not be aware of these resources,” Poluga says. “We promote available  opportunities and help parents navigate the process of applying for these much‐needed supports.”    The Club also partners with parents to support  “When
parents
are
better
off,
families
are
 their children’s education. An education  better
off,
and
the
kids
automatically
are
 program manager helps facilitate  communication between parents and schools  better
off.
In
the
long
term,
everyone
 by accompanying parents to meetings,  benefits.”
 contacting children’s teachers at least quarterly  —Dennis
Poluga,
CPO,
 and working with youth after school. In a recent  Mountaineer
Boys
&
Girls
Club
 grading period, more than 70 percent of  students had a grade point average above 3.0.    Families also find fun through the Mountaineer Club. Banquet‐style holiday celebrations and monthly  outings to the ice skating rink, bowling alley or movie theater help families spend affordable quality time  together. 

 

Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, Santa Paula, Calif. (2008)    Books, Bonds, Stronger Futures  Families that read together create loving memories and improve their reading skills at the same time.  When California implemented a pre‐school reading program a few years ago, the Boys & Girls Club of  Santa Clara Valley came up with a creative way to help kids and parents alike. Though many parents are  Hispanic immigrants with limited education and low wages, literacy skills are a must in making economic  progress. That is why the Motheread/Fatheread program works to prepare pre‐school aged and  elementary‐aged children for school, while also helping parents become more proficient in written and  spoken English. “While the families learn valuable reading skills, they also build bonds with each other,”  says Irma Magaña‐Rodriguez, parent coordinator for the First 5 Santa Clara Valley Neighborhood for  Learning. “Both of these elements help families create stronger futures.”    Leading the Family and the Community  “In
addition
to
providing
quality
early‐ In addition to family reading sessions, the Boys &  learning
and
pre‐school
experiences,
 Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley encourages  the
Santa
Clara
Valley
Neighborhood
for
 parents to take part in cooking and nutrition  classes. There is a high rate of childhood obesity  Learning
Program
enhances
 in the area, with many families subsisting on high‐ opportunities
that
promote
family
 fat diets that include fast‐food burgers and  strengthening,
whether
through
family
 sandwiches. Some families also eat Hispanic  reading
or
group
cooking
classes.”
 culinary specialties such as tamales that are made  with lard and pork. But recently, many parents  —Irma
Magaña‐Rodriguez,
parent
 have learned how to cook those same tamales  coordinator
for
the
First
5
Santa
Clara
 using vegetable or olive oil and chicken or turkey.  Valley
Neighborhood
for
Learning
 The cooking and nutrition classes have become  very popular and have helped to further establish  the Boys & Girls Clubs as the source for family  support and aid among local residents.    “Whether through reading or cooking classes, parents are learning how to improve their family’s quality  of life, health and outlook for the future,” says Magaña‐Rodriguez. 

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    Increased parental involvement has also resulted in the formation of two Parent Neighborhood Councils  in the communities of Fillmore and Santa Paula. These groups meet on a regular basis to talk about issues  of child‐rearing as well as social services agencies that might help families with medical, financial or  educational needs. Parents are taking notice: Since its inception nearly five years ago, the Fillmore Parent  Neighborhood Council has grown from five to approximately 50 members. 

  Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, Gary and Carol Milgard Family HOPE Center, Lakewood,  Wash. (2008)    Several years ago, staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound noticed a troubling trend: youth  were getting into fights and being excluded from Club activities. But instead of lecturing parents about  discipline, staff members offered them job training, banking tips and marriage counseling. These added  supports, provided by more than a dozen independent social services agencies at the Gary and Carol  Milgard Family HOPE Center have provided more stability to stressful home environments.     “The Family HOPE Center is really at the core of our new strategy for family support,” says Carrie  Prudente‐Holden, director of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. “We have taken  the best from the world of family support services and put them all in one place. The number of adults  and youths we are reaching has grown tremendously.”    Hope for All  It’s easy to find help at the Home of Opportunity, Possibility, and Empowerment (HOPE) Center. As soon  as families enter the lobby, they are greeted by staff members who direct them to independent service  providers who have offices at the center. Adults peel off to  one side of the��facility, youth to the other. While parents are  “We
realized
that
it
wasn’t
 getting help setting up a savings account or job hunting,  working
to
serve
kids
in
a
 children play games or take computer classes. Counseling  vacuum;
we
had
to
reach
the
 services for adults and children, as well as entire families,  also are provided. The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget  whole
family.”
 Sound serve a region of contrasts. While some families earn  —Carrie
Prudente‐Holden,
 middle‐class incomes at jobs in nearby Seattle, others are  Director
of
Operations,

 struggling to make ends meet. Many families are headed by a  Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
South
 single parent or single‐earner and a majority of children  receive free or reduced lunches. A growing number of these  Puget
Sound
 households are Spanish‐speaking.       “We have increased Hispanic families’ access to our center as well,” says Sue Holliday, family support  worker for the Family HOPE Center, where more than 25 percent of clients are Hispanic. “Because we  have a bilingual staff, we can communicate to them right away that we have the services they need.”  Boys & Girls Club of Navarro County, Corsicana, Texas (2008)    Mapping a Brighter Future  When parents have a stable job and stable home,  the entire family benefits. Next Generation:  “We
started
our
program
to
work
with
 Achieving Economic Success is a program that  families
after
we
realized
some
families
 helps parents achieve economic success and  were
struggling
to
make
a
living
in
jobs
 become more involved in their children’s lives.  that
don’t
allow
for
promotion.”
 By bringing together resources such as financial  planning and job readiness training, Boys & Girls  —Sylvia
A.
Waters,
Program
Director,
 Club of Navarro County helps parents take  Boys
&
Girls
Club
of
Navarro
County
 advantage of opportunities that will improve    their families’ lives. So far, nearly 40 parents  have participated in the program. Not only are 

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  they refining the skills they need to land more stable and lucrative jobs, but they are also volunteering to  help with Club events that benefit their children.    “We are giving parents skills they didn’t have before,” says Sylvia A. Waters, program director at the Boys  & Girls Club of Navarro County. “We want to help them secure a better paying job and maintain it. It’s  good for them and for their children.”    Slow Start, Big Returns  Initially, turnout was low for Next Generation meetings. Parents were busy earning a living to support  their families, and they weren’t convinced that spending Tuesday nights at the Club would help them. But  as word of the benefit of the meetings spread – participants met with representatives of the Texas Work  Force Commission to learn how to find jobs on the Internet and write resumes – more adults started  showing up. Most parents in the Next Generation class earn about $26,000 a year, and many are raising  children on their own. They quickly realized that careful career planning and thoughtful job hunting  might result in larger paychecks and better benefits. Boys & Girls Clubs officials also identified possible  employers and then worked with them to devise a 60‐day probation period for new hires.    “Once we got our parents trained, we went out into the community and said, ‘Give our parents a chance,’”  says Waters. “Helping them find better paying jobs was a big focus.”    The Next Generation program has prompted many parents to become more involved in their children’s  lives. Parents also are serving on a Family Advisory Committee that is creating new family strengthening  programs. The committee meets at the Club and, as a result, parents are spending more time with their  children during after‐school hours. Another bonus: Parents feel more comfortable with staff members  and are much more willing to talk about problems that may arise at work or home. 

  Boys & Girls Club of Collier County, Fla. (2007)    Millionaires and Migrant Workers  The city of Naples in Collier County, Fla., is known  “Our
goal
is
to
help
young
people
grow
 for its affluent residents, sun‐drenched beach  up
to
be
successful
adults.
By
helping
 resorts and exclusive golf Clubs. But beyond its  the
parents,
we
help
the
children
to
 millionaires and CEOs, this Gulf Coast community  also is home to many economically disadvantaged  break
generational
problems
and
 families. Nearly half of the county’s school‐aged  overcome
the
challenges
their
families
 children live in poverty and are eligible for free or  face.”
 reduced‐price lunches. Forty percent of births are  —Lisa
Morse,

 to single mothers. Seventeen percent of children  lack health care. And many of the county’s  Vice
President
of
Operations,

 poorest families speak primarily Spanish or  Boys
&
Girls
Club
of
Collier
County
 Haitian Creole, with a limited command of English.    Despite the challenges, parents of the 1,100 members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Collier County are striving  to improve their families’ lives. These parents pack Club events, work diligently in the restaurant, hotel  and farming industries, and seek support for their families’ needs from food assistance to transitional  housing. The Club is there to help. Through Family PLUS, parents receive free parent education, job  assistance, financial education and referrals to community resources.    Creating an Extended Family  For many families, the Club is an important community hub not only for children, but also for parents.  Parents often ask Club staff for help finding services such as counseling, assistance with utility bills and  dental care. “Parents see us as part of their extended family, and we do all we can to help them,” says Lisa  Morse, vice president of operations. Initially, staff members called their own dentists to ask if they would  provide care for Club families. Four years ago, the Club partnered with Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and  now provides on‐site, twice‐yearly free dental, medical, vision and hearing screenings. Sight for Students 

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  also provides vouchers for free glasses to youth who need them. Every month, the Club holds workshops  for parents, ranging from discipline to resume writing. Retirees and businesswomen from the Naples  Women’s Club teach seminars on credit, banking, home ownership and money management. The sheriff’s  department conducts a session on gang prevention. The health department teaches parents about healthy  eating, exercise, diabetes and obesity. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children educates  parents about Internet safety.    Through a partnership with Youth Haven, the Club also offers a 10‐week parenting class using the DARE  to Be You curriculum to help young mothers and fathers develop positive parenting skills. With free  family meals, free child care and $200 provided to each participating family, the program has served 25  families in its first class. 

  Eielson Air Force Base Youth Center, Eielson AFB, Alaska (2007)     Connecting to Families through the Cold  Located 30 miles from the nearest town, Eielson Air Force Base is a remote Alaskan community that is  home to more than 3,000 military members and their families. With temperatures plunging to 20 to 40  degrees below zero, winter lasts for half the year. For youth on base, the interminable weather combined  with the overseas deployment of their parents can lead to greater risk of isolation, solitude, fear and  depression.    As the tempo of base deployments and activities increased over the past six years, Eielson Youth  Programs recognized the increased stress upon the families of its 600 members. “At first, we noticed  children staying in our programs for a longer time, so we stayed open later and provided more staff,” says  Deborah Conklin, youth programs director. “But we realized that parents were facing growing difficulties  and pressure to support their families – often without knowing about all of the resources on base to help  them.”    “With
new
families
constantly
arrive
 Staying Connected: The Phone Booth Strategy  and
dealing
with
deployment,
many
 To better serve families affected by deployment,  Eielson Youth Programs approached Access Eielson,  parents
don’t
know
about
all
the
 a coalition of agencies on base that support families  available
services
on
base.
We
let
 physically, mentally, spiritually and socially through  parents
know
that
we
are
here
to
help.”
 youth programs, the chapel, an alcohol and  —Deborah
Conklin,

 substance abuse center and health clinic. Agencies  began by offering specialized services for spouses of  Youth
Programs
Director,

 overseas service members, such as free aerobics  Eielson
Air
Force
Base
Youth
Center
 classes at the fitness center, stress management  classes at the health and wellness clinic and    computer classes at the community center. The  youth center also promoted better access to base resources for members’ families by hosting a  Communication Fair and a Safari Party for more than 300 people. At the social events, children enjoyed  crafts and games while parents met agency representatives and learned about services like parenting  classes and financial literacy workshops.    “Even though we advertise our services in the base newspaper and magazine, many families live off base  and don’t always get that information,” Conklin says. “By drawing in families with fun activities and  linking parents to resources face‐to‐face, we have become more effective in supporting our families.”     Eielson Youth Programs also helps children strengthen relationships with deployed parents, providing a  phone booth so that parents can easily reach their children despite the time difference and also giving  families “deployment kits” with cameras, journals, books and other items to help families stay in touch.       

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  Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake, Tooele Unit, Tooele, Utah (2007) 

 

Tools for Tooele Families  Forty miles southwest of Salt Lake City, the Boys & Girls Club of Tooele is turning young lives around in a  blue‐collar, copper mining, farm town with a long history of teen pregnancy, juvenile crime and underage  drinking. Since 2002, the Club has partnered with the city of Tooele to provide youth with positive  alternatives to delinquency, drugs, alcohol, sex and idleness. But after recognizing a persistent need to  help youth particularly at risk, the Club joined with United Way to start the Helping Families Succeed  program.    Helping Families Succeed focuses on holistically supporting the families of youth on the brink of crisis— young people falling behind in school, talking about suicide, committing crimes, acting violently or  engaging in other risky behavior. The Club started the program in response to a community survey that  identified strong families as key in making a difference for youth. “We realize that supporting families  helps youth to reach success,” says Allison Barclay, director of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of  Greater Salt Lake. “So we help families develop tools and skills in parenting, communication, goal‐setting  and accessing community resources.”    Partnering with Purpose  “When
parents
have
the
skills
and
 Nearly 100 parents and youth have participated in  resources
to
appropriately
support
and
 Helping Families Succeed since July 2004. In eight  discipline
their
children,
the
children
are
 weeks of classes, youth and parents learn valuable  less
likely
to
fall
into
crisis—and
more
 skills in discipline, self‐esteem, stress management  and communication. Families also meet with a case  likely
to
rise
above
their
troubles
to
 manager to develop a Family Improvement Plan  achieve
their
fullest
potential.”

 that outlines the family’s goals and matches the  –
Allison
Barclay,
Director
of
 family’s needs with community resources. Working  Operations,
Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
 with a coalition of more than 30 community  agencies that meet monthly, the Club often refers  Greater
Salt
Lake
 families to services offered by partners, such Valley  Mental Health, which provides counseling, and    Tooele Adult Education. Partners, such as the Tooele Juvenile Court, also often refer youth to Helping  Families Succeed. The Club then tracks families for 90 days after the program to follow up on their  progress and to provide additional assistance. Youth participants also receive free membership to the  Club to encourage their continued involvement.    Helping Families Succeed takes a family‐oriented approach to serving at‐risk youth, engaging and  empowering parents to help their children succeed. “Parents can be the most important, positive  influence for their children if they have the resources and skills to stay engaged in their children’s lives,”  Barclay says. “By addressing the needs of both the child and the parents, we are better able to provide the  youth with consistent support from inside and outside the home.” 

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, Plainfield Club, Union, N.J., 2007    Helping Parents to Help Their Children  For hundreds of low‐income families in Union County, N.J., the Plainfield Club is a portal to a plethora of  opportunities and resources. Since 2002, children in some of Union County’s most disadvantaged  neighborhoods have turned to the Club for after‐school activities, summer camp, job‐hunting help,  community service projects and fun. But they are not the only ones within the Club’s reach. Recognizing  the need to support and engage parents, the Club began the Family Resource Center – a collection of  parent‐driven programs designed to help entire families achieve success.    “We knew we had to educate the parents and help them get more involved so we could work as a team to  make a difference in their children’s lives,” says Russell Triolo, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County. 

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“Parents often were lost when it came to accessing community resources. We knew we had to help the  parents to help the children.”    Strengthening Families with Partners and Dances  From social events to parent workshops, Family Resource Center programs are geared toward building  parents’ knowledge and skills, strengthening family relationships and linking parents with relevant  community agencies. The Family Resource Center serves more than 500 parents and children in  Plainfield and surrounding communities with diverse offerings made possible through a network of  partners. Prevention Links offers weekly workshops at the Club about parenting, health and substance  abuse issues, such as managing stress and becoming more involved in children’s education and discipline.    While parents attend sessions, youth have their own workshops, and younger siblings are supervised  through free child care. The Plainfield Chamber of Commerce also regularly holds job‐readiness classes.  And for the first time this year, the Chamber held a job fair for parents and teens at the Club. “The  collaboration we have with many other organizations in the city is so important because it allows us to  provide families with many of the resources they need,” says Paul Casey, Plainfield Club director.    To strengthen father involvement, the Club convened  “Before
starting
the
family
resource
 fathers and requested their input. One suggestion that  came out of that conversation six years ago is now an  center,
parents
often
asked
us
how
to
 annual tradition – a father and daughter dance.  find
job
assistance,
health
care
and
 Throughout the year, social events bring together the  affordable
services.
We
realized
families
 entire family and as a result, more parents are  needed
better
access
to
resources
that
 stepping forward as volunteers and becoming more  engaged in their children’s lives.  could
help
them
and
their
children,
so
   we
jumped
in.”
–
Russell
Triolo,
CEO,
 Like the dance, Family Resource Center programs are  Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
Union
County
 shaped by parents and children. A Club Advisory  Council that includes parents and youth ensures that    families’ needs are addressed. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Vernon, Texas (2007)    Engaging Families in the Farm Land  In Vernon, Texas, cotton farms, cattle ranches and a bacon processing plant form the economic backbone  of the community. But over the years, the declining farming industry has affected many families. At the  Boys & Girls Club of Vernon, 60 percent of young members live in poverty. In many cases, extended  relatives are primary caregivers for children. “It’s easy for parents to feel isolated when they’re busy  making ends meet,” says Beverly Campsey, executive director. “We try to draw them in and make the  Club a place that is not only welcoming to children, but also to parents and caregivers.”    Based on a community assessment and discussion with partnering youth organizations, the Club started  the Strengthening Families program in November  2006. The Club first focused on increasing parent  “Even
though
we
are
in
a
rural
 involvement. By January, the Club had expanded  community,
we
have
many
resources.
 outreach with bi‐weekly sessions for parents and  But
parents
and
grandparents
raising
 youth incorporating the Family PLUS strategy with  the Texas Cooperative Extension’s “Keys to  children
often
don’t
know
where
to
get
 Successful Families” program.  help
with
things
like
parenting
advice,
   counseling
or
food
stamps.
We
provide
 The Strength of Rural Resources  that
help.”

 In Strengthening Families sessions, parents and  caregivers learn about effective parenting skills,  —
Beverly
Campsey,
Executive
Director,

 positive discipline, problem solving, improving  Boys
&
Girls
Club
of
Vernon,
Texas
 communication, stress management, money 

 

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management and other parenting issues selected based on input from parent surveys. Sessions are  interactive. Guest speakers, including counselors and child psychologists, role‐playing exercises, games  and group discussions provide fun vehicles for learning. “Best of all, parents and grandparents find  confidence in each other by sharing their experiences and becoming a social support group,” Campsey  says.    Each session is held in the evening, when parents typically pick up their children from the Club’s after‐ school program. Dinner is provided and free child care is offered by Keystone Club members. “We want to  make it as easy as possible for parents and grandparents to come and connect with each other, enhance  their parenting skills, and learn about resources that benefit their children’s futures,” Campsey says.    More than 120 parents, grandparents and children have attended family strengthening sessions since the  program’s inception. With referrals through Catholic Family Services and the Vernon Independent School  District, the Club has become a valued community resource for supporting parents and caregivers. The  Club also helps families access services from other agencies including health care, food stamps and  counseling. To further facilitate linking families with available services, the Club plans to create a  community resource guide for members’ families. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County, Richmond, Ind. (2007)    Joining Forces to Impact Young Lives  In a broad collaboration unprecedented in Wayne County, Ind., the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County  along with 20 agencies serving children, youth and families are working together to improve the future  for the county’s youngest residents. Spurred by a 2002 community assessment of the blue‐collar  community of Richmond, the largest city in Wayne County, community agencies recognized the need to  cohesively address persistent poverty and other issues facing families. Forty‐four percent of students are  eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Less than 60 percent of Wayne County students graduate from  high school. Increasing juvenile violent crime, teen pregnancies and academic disparities propelled the  Club and other agencies to establish the County‐Wide Partnership for Youth in 2005.    The County‐Wide Partnership for Youth includes the county’s school districts, chamber of commerce,  United Way, the sheriff and other agencies. “The County‐Wide Partnership gives parents a central place to  find information and services in our community,” says Erin Buck, director of resource development. “It  also helps agencies to coordinate efforts so that families’ needs are met from every angle.”    From Buses to Therapy  The County‐Wide Partnership for Youth drafted a Youth Development Plan in January 2007, outlining a  comprehensive vision of needs and goals not only for youth, but also for families, schools and the broader  community. Goals include creating a safe and drug‐free environment, supporting parents with training  and resources and increasing student academic achievement. Agencies in the coalition meet monthly to  strategize new ways to collaborate and achieve the goals in the Youth Development Plan.    Already, families have benefited from the new  collaborations. During the 2006‐07 school year,  “We
must
work
with
other
agencies
to
 Richmond Community Schools began providing  comprehensively
address
families’
needs
so
 free after‐school bus transportation to the  that
youth
are
fully
supported
in
reaching
 county’s two Boys & Girls Clubs for all elementary  success.
Through
our
diverse,
community‐ school students. Attendance at the Clubs has  increased remarkably as a result, from an average  wide
connections,
we
help
families
access
 of 217 children a day to 327 children. “With  resources
beyond
what
we
could
provide
 transportation taken care of, many more parents  alone.”

 are sending their children to our Clubs, knowing  –
David
Woolpy,
Unit
Director,

 that they’re in a safe, positive place,” says David  Woolpy, unit director. Partnering with the schools  Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
Wayne
County
 also led to the success of the Clubs’ Positive 

   

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  Alternatives program, which engages students expelled or suspended from their schools in community  service, life skills learning and schoolwork sent by teachers.    Through Family PLUS, parents have benefited from workshops made possible through partners such as  the Dunn Mental Health Center. The center provides family counseling and also provides speakers,  including psychologists, to educate parents on parenting skills and positive discipline.    The Children’s Aid Society, City Challenge Boys & Girls Club, New York, N.Y. (2006)    Reaching Out to Parents  In 1997, the City Challenge Boys & Girls Club in New York City set out to reduce the alarming proportion  of young men—more than 80 percent statewide—rearrested within three years of their release from  New York’s residential detention facilities. From the beginning, the Club put early outreach to parents at  the heart of its program to help young offenders make the transition back to life.    “Typically, these young men do well in the upstate  facility, but then come back to the same negative  “To
be
successful
with
parents,
we
have
 situation,” says William Weisberg, associate  to
educate
them
and
empower
them.
 executive director of The Children’s Aid Society,  We
must
involve
them
as
stakeholders
 which runs the program in partnership with the  if
we
really
want
to
help
their
children.”
 New York State Office of Family and Children’s  Services (OFCS). “We involve parents to start the  —C.
Warren
Moses,
CEO,

 reintegration process before their children come  The
Children’s
Aid
Society
 home. We show them the way to the support and  services they need to help their children.”        Giving Support, Anticipating Needs  Starting months before their children come home, City Challenge reaches out to parents with a range of  services and activities. The Clubhouse organizes a trip to the Youth Leadership Academy, the state facility,  while the children are still there. The City Challenge Parenting Institute engages parents in weekly  support groups, where they can share concerns and advice with each other. Intensive case management  includes weekly contact with a caseworker for about 40 percent of the families.    Such outreach helps parents become full partners in the process of bringing their children home to better  situations than they left behind. “Giving parents a voice can be challenging, but it’s essential,” says Felipe  Franco, Director of Juvenile Justice Programs. “They can help us learn about their children, and together  we can plan for what needs to be in place for the return.” This might take the form of an activity that  interests the young person, such as art or sports, job skills training or an internship program. It also  might take the form of medical and dental care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment and  financial assistance.    City Challenge serves approximately 150 youth and their families each year. Fully half of the young  people who take part in the program stay free from arrest for three years or longer. Most of them  complete high school and move on to work and/or college, becoming positive role models in their  communities. 

  Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, Wis. (2006)    Steering in the Right Direction  Although I‐94 sometimes links parents in Kenosha, Wis. with employment in Chicago and Milwaukee, the  interstate can also present a road block to the most important job these parents have: building a  promising future for their children. In recent years, the thoroughfare has brought drugs and criminal  activity into Kenosha, raising concerns for all families in this small but diverse city.   

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  For the past 14 years, parents have turned to the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha to help them guide their  children down a more secure and stable path as they navigate the challenges of growing up. “Because so  many parents in this community face economic and social barriers, their children do as well,” says CEO  Wally Graffen. “We want both parents and children to see our Club as a way to a better future and to take  advantage of the programs we offer.”    Families Finding Solutions Together  The Club has added programs that engage both parents and children to its roster of traditional  educational and recreational activities for young people. These family programs address the issues most  impacting Kenosha families. “To succeed in helping young people grow in their confidence and decision‐ making skills, we must be effective in supporting parents,” Graffen says.    The Even Start Family Literacy Program boosts reading skills for Latino youth, while enrolling their  parents in ESL classes focused on parents’ roles as their children’s first teachers. Families United to  Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Making Healthy Choices Conference engage parents and children in  discussions about responsibility and life choices.    As these programs expanded, staff saw the need to  “With
parents’
active
engagement,
we
 intervene in more difficult circumstances. The Club’s  can
have
so
much
of
an
impact
on
the
 Circle of Hope program pairs children of federal  lives
of
the
young
people
in
our
Club.
It
 inmates with trained mentors, who also support  really
takes
a
whole
family
to
find
 parents at home in setting positive examples. For  youth experiencing run‐ins with the law, yet another  success.”
 initiative partners with parents in helping their  —
Ron
Stevens,
President,

 children find positive alternatives to delinquent  Boys
&
Girls
Club
of
Kenosha
 behavior.      Kenosha staff also reach out to parents through mutual‐help opportunities designed to encourage  parents to support one another and their neighbors. These include community‐wide dental screenings    and clothing drives and events that bring families together, such as potluck dinners, talent shows and a  Kids Day Celebration.    The Club continually tries out new strategies to see what will work best for Kenosha families. “We always  challenge the staff to draw parents in,” observes Graffen. “Long‐term success starts with getting these  young people and their parents fully involved.” 

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Florida, Perry, Fla. (2006)    Engaging Fathers and Helping Them Succeed  “We
are
helping
fathers
become
 The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Florida serves  500 young people, 60 percent of whom come from  nurturers
for
their
own
children
 homes headed by single mothers; yet the Club has just  and,
beyond
that,
good
role
models
 three men on staff. Last fall, that startling ratio sent  for
all
of
our
children.”
 Kevin Kidd, executive director, on a mission: to find a  —
Kevin
Kidd,
Executive
Director,
 way to strengthen fathers’ involvement with their  families.  Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of

   North
Central
Florida
 A conversation with the local Head Start director  
 turned Kidd on to the Nurturing Fathers Program,  ….  which helps fathers develop the tools they need to become positive forces in their children’s lives.  Together, the two directors attended a training session in Jacksonville and began offering the program  locally—first at the Taylor County Jail, and then at the Boys & Girls Club and Head Start.   

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  “I grew up in a single‐parent home, and I know the impact that can have on a child,” Kidd says. “At the  Boys & Girls Club, we want to make a better community for our children—and to do that, we have to get  our fathers involved.”     “The Father I Choose To Be”  The Nurturing Fathers Program teaches men how to be effective fathers, focusing on topics such as  discipline without violence, communication, problem‐solving and teamwork with their partners. Over the  course of several sessions, men examine relationships with their own fathers, discuss their fatherhood  experiences and take part in group activities. So far, 36 men have completed the program through the  Boys & Girls Club/Head Start effort.    “The program is powerful,” Kidd says. “It changes how men think about fathering. In ‘The Father I Choose  to Be’ exercise, for example, they write a job description of how they want to conduct themselves as  fathers. They use TV dads as a frame of reference, discussing who does and doesn’t have the qualities  they want to emulate.” Kidd notes that the program is already making a difference. Two men married  their partners soon after completing the program. Two teen fathers, who had been spending most of their  free time at the Club, found jobs so they could start supporting their children. Kidd hopes to have at least  100 men participate in Nurturing Fathers.    “As one participant told me, ‘We really need superheroes for our kids,’” Kidd says. “Our mission is to  inspire and enable all youth to become productive and caring citizens. And to do that, we must give them  strong male role models.” 

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, San Juan, P.R. (2006)     A Place for Parents  The Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico is no longer a place  just for children. It is quickly becoming a center for  “The
family
support
program
 families as well, thanks to the addition of programs and  strengthens
parents
in
their
roles
as
 services for parents. In its first year, this Family Support  nurturers
and
providers.
They
need
 Program involved more than 1,100 parents in activities  ranging from job skills training and parenting classes to  and
deserve
our
help
as
they
lay
a
 fitness and social events. In addition to gaining new skills  foundation
for
their
children’s
 for their work lives and home lives, they have started to  future
success
and
citizenship.”
 become part of the fabric of life at the Club.  —José
Campos‐Fusté,

   “Involving parents is so important to us,” says Belissa  Executive
Director,

 Aquino‐Soto, grants coordinator. “We cannot build better  Boys
&
Girls
Clubs
of
Puerto
Rico
 communities and instill values and leadership in our  children without their involvement.”     The main branch, located at the Las Margaritas Public Housing Complex, now features a designated space  for family activities, known as “El Centro de Apoyo Familiar, Tu CASA” (The Family Support Center, Your  HOME). Las Margaritas also added staff members dedicated solely to parent outreach.    Building Skills for Work and Family Life  At Las Margaritas, one of the most popular new Club offerings has been a confectionery workshop, where  parents and their children learn how to make pastries, cakes and other baked goods. It gives them  positive time together, but it also gives parents a skill they can use to start a family business. “Parents  here are on public assistance, and they don’t see much opportunity for themselves,” Aquino‐Soto says.  “Two mothers have already taken these skills and started businesses out of their homes.”    At the branch in San Lorenzo, nearly 420 parents have improved their word processing and other  software skills by enrolling in a computer class offered at the site. They also learned resume‐writing and  interviewing skills. In addition to helping adults become successful economically, the Family PLUS 

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  strategy is helping them become more successful parents. At the Mayaguez branch, about 160 parents  have taken part in the FAN Club, a program designed to help them influence their children to lead drug‐ free lives. Club members gain direct access to social services, family and leadership activities, and job  skills training, including computer classes and nail care workshops.    “Integrating parents into Club life puts us in a much better position to impact the lives of their children,”  Aquino‐Soto says. “Now that we have completed our pilot year, we look forward to spreading the word,  expanding our offerings and getting more parents involved.” 

 

Boys & Girls Club of Topeka, Kan. (2006)    Changing Perceptions  For generations, the Boys & Girls Club of Topeka has been a place where children found activities and  programs. But in recent years, the Club has evolved to provide more support for families as a critical path  to a brighter future for their children. The challenge was getting that message out to parents.    “We’ve always worked to instill confidence in these young people by listening to their ideas and making  them feel like they belong,” says Jon Farr, CPO. “Now we’ve transferred that same strategy to their  parents. That was the missing piece.”    The Clubs’ focus on families received a big boost in 2003. The local Camp Fire USA council closed and the  Club stepped in and absorbed the family‐oriented programs, like Community Family Clubs. Through  group projects, field trips and activities with specific goals, parents and their children strengthen their  relationships by learning and having fun together.    Partnering with Parents  “In
the
past,
parents
didn’t
see
the
 Topeka’s programs are offered in six locations, some  Clubs
as
places
for
them.
Now
they
 urban and others rural. Despite their different  see
them
as
a
resource
for
their
 surroundings, many of these families share limited  families
and
the
entire
community.”
 access to computers, health information and  employment resources.  —Jon
Farr,
CPO,

   Boys
&
Girls
Club
of
Topeka
 At monthly meetings called Family Nights, families  share dinner, participate in group activities and  discussions, and discuss family and parenting issues with guest speakers. Family Nights also introduce  parents to the Community Family Clubs program and the services offered through the Club’s Technology  Center. Here many parents who have never used a computer before learn how to find job leads and  information about money management to build family assets. Though most of these parents have little  formal education themselves, they learn how to search for scholarship opportunities to help their  children achieve higher educational goals. The programs place a high priority on soliciting feedback to  ensure they are serving all families most effectively. “That really validates the programs for the parents,”  says Shelli McNabb, COO. “And that helps us keep the families involved over the long‐term.”    Plans for the future respond to requests from parents. They include providing families with more  transportation to attend Clubs’ programs, free help preparing taxes, dental screenings and drug and  alcohol abuse classes. “Incorporating the Camp Fire programs helped us interact with parents a lot more  often than when they were dropping off or picking up their children,” says McNabb. “Now we’re  providing families with resources they just weren’t getting anywhere else.” 

 

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PLUS
Strategy


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Putting Families First: Success Stories from BGCA's Family Plus Strategy