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Boys & Girls Clubs
The Boys and Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantage circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive responsible and caring citizens. Many programs are offered to encourage "at risk" youth to stay in school, to stay off drugs and to stay out of gangs. Using positive role models it strives to build good citizens through everyday leadership and guidance in behavior and attitude. Young people are shown they do matter and that it is very important for them to become active, productive citizens of society. They also enjoy activities such as art, crafts, tutoring, field trips, summer camp and recreation.
Need / Problem to be Addressed
The Boys and Girls Club at 2904 Pershing Boulevard was in need of extensive repairs and renovation. The present building is a forty to forty-five year old metal building. It originally served as a training camp for boxers in the 1950's. The heating system and lighting was severely inadequate. The exhaust fans did not cool the building during the extreme heat of the summer months and most have to be repaired constantly or do not operate because of faulty wiring. The roof has had many leaks; the restrooms are inadequate and in constant need of repair. The security of the building is compromised because the doors have rotted and break-ins are frequent. The building is in a deplorable condition and burned to the slab on February 18, 2007.
The plan is to rebuild the building and ground breaking was April 9, 2008 with the construction of a 21,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art educational building and gym. The new building will be used for the same purpose as the old building and will cost $3.5 million dollars of which $2.9 million dollars has been pledged.
Programs and Activities
Education: Educational activities are designed to help the youth served to become proficient in basic educational disciplines while embracing technology, which will play an important role to their success. Power Hour is a program of one on one tutoring by qualified personnel designed to help children in the areas where they are most in need of individual assistance and is a component of both summer and school year programming. Smart Moves Program is a nationally acclaimed curricula that includes topics on pregnancy prevention, alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, HIV and other prominent subjects. Goals for Graduation - a component of Project Learn which seeks to instill in the minds of youth that educational success and achievement is directly linked to academic goal setting. Life Skills training, Violence Prevention training, Computer Labs are some of the other programs offered.
Career Development: Ensuing the future success of those who attend the Club is a top priority of the program. Career Launch is a program for teens (ages 14 to 18) to guides them in making sound educational and career decisions. Passport to Manhood is a program for males ages 11 to 14 that promotes and teaches responsibility.
Health, Hygiene and Safety: Cavity-Free Zone provides education, oral health care tools and increased access to dental professionals. Kids In Control is a safety awareness program that provides children ages 8 to 10 with practical knowledge and skills in the areas of personal safety and crime prevention to act as a guide that will generate discussion, provide insight, and encourage them to develop safety skills.
Cultural Enrichment: We seek to teach children to respect their own and others' cultural identities by exposing them to various cultures and traditions. Arts and crafts programs are taught year round, and the students take field trips several times a year to visit museums or cultural events.
Social Recreation: Through dances, cookouts, game rooms, summer camp, talent shows, and tournaments, students develop the ability to have proper interaction and to create meaningful relationships with others.
Leadership and Character Development: The Keystone Club, Junior Leaders, and Pee-Wee Club all help youth understand their democratic heritage, develop character and leadership skills. Programs in this core program area empower youth to support and influence their club and community through community service and by working together.
Sports, Fitness, Recreation, and Nutrition: Programs in this area develop fitness, positive use of leisure time, skills for stress management, appreciation for the environment, and knowledge of the importance of good nutrition. Students participate in soccer; football, volleyball, softball, dodge ball, shuffleboard, weight training, and exercise.
Participating Funding Organizations
The City of Shreveport and Bossier, Boyd Gaming Corporation, Shreveport-Bossier Community Foundation of Shreveport, Willis Knighton Health Systems, Whelees Foundation, Wolfe Foundation, The United Way of Northwest Louisiana, and many other local businesses people, area entrepreneurs, and individuals.