Great Futures column
By DAVID DEATON
The Boys and Girls Club of LeFlore County has a dream. The Dream is to move forward in the community and to help impact kids and strengthen families in the county.
We can do this by helping each club member realizes their dreams and reach their full potential. But, in order for kids to realize their dreams and to set goal, a community needs to show them that they care.
So we need the community to help us to increase our effectiveness and help us with our mission.
Together we will ensure a positive future for every child and a nation empowered by great citizens.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America serve young people all across the country and on every military base. The national organization understands the importance of family and community involvement and have created five key elements to cultivating and enhancing kids in each community.
These five key elements for positive youth development are:
1. Safe, positive environment
3. Supportive relationships
4. Opportunities and expectations
These elements are what helps our efforts both locally and nationally. It is through these efforts that we have seen results in academic success, good character and healthy lifestyles.
In order for us to truly make a difference in the lives of kids, we all need to develop a strategy to establish and improve the effectiveness of our services and programs.
Measuring the outcomes is the only way that you can truly determine if programs are having their desired impact, and ultimately have an advantage when competing for resources. By asking kids who have grown up as club members, seeing the successes in their lives and surveying what programs they enjoyed we can get an idea as to whether or not we have done our job correctly.
In a recent National Alumni survey, done through the BGCA, alumni reported that Boys & Girls Clubs continue to have both an immediate and long-lasting impact on their lives.
According to the survey, 57 percent of alumni said the Club saved their life. Twenty eight percent of alumni would have dropped out of high school if not for Boys & Girls Clubs.
On a national level, 16 percent of all students do not graduate from high school, but, those students who attended an after-school program the percentage was only eight percent who did not finish.
Nationally, 21 percent of African American males do not go on to graduate from high school, while only two percent of Boys & Girls Club African American males did not finish.
So, the five steps are simple, but hold a great impact on the lives of kids. So support us, donate time and other resources with us. A child’s life is important and everyone wants to have a “Great Future.”
The BGCLC main office is located at 205 Dewey Avenue in Poteau. We serve over 500 kids at schools in Poteau, Heavener, Shady Point and Arkoma. To find out more about the Boys and Girls Club of LeFlore County contact our office at (918) 647-7136. Be sure to check out our website at www.thebgclc.org and our facebook page.