At the start of the program year (September of 2013), there were 223 total youth enrolled in the Literacy Intervention program; however by year end there were 190 of the original youth who maintained enrollment as participants. The 33 youth who did not remain in the program were dropped primarily due to families moving outside of the program service area (an issue that is common among the low-income families who are served by the Boys & Girls Clubs, where families tend to be more transient due to employment needs, loss of housing or other family connections).
As participants dropped out of the program, new youth were enrolled; however, these youth were not tracked with the original cohort group that began in the fall, to ensure that the outcome data would not be distorted. At year end, Including the new youth who joined the program late, there were a total of 221 youth enrolled - 190 who had maintained participation through the entire program year and 31 youth who joined mid-year (December 2013) or later.
All 190 youth who were tracked for reading proficiency gains ranged from 1st through 5th grade students. The Literacy Intervention staff utilized DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessments to track and measure the reading proficiency of all participants. The assessments were administered every two months to gauge the progress of youth, with the pre and post test scores for the program year being used to measure participant reading achievement gains. The average documented reading proficiency gain for the 190 youth was 66% at year end. The fact that the entire cohort group achieved 66% median gain demonstrates that the participants clearly exceeded the goal of 40%.
In the coming 2014-2015 program year, which will begin in September 2014, we plan to implement a math intervention component that will help provide opportunity to reinforce math skills among participants. However, at this current time, the final decision on the program implementation has not been completed. We are working in conjunction with five local school districts to receive their input on what this program should be and how to track the outcomes most effectively, while supporting our participant’s in-school time. We do however anticipate being able to report on the outcomes of this academic math program at the close of the next program year.
At our Inukai Family Club, the theme of our programming has not only been fun, but educational too. During our Nature Exploration Camp for incoming 4th through 6th graders, our Club members got to experience firsthand what it’s like to be a marine biologist.
Each member was paired with one or two other members, and they were able to dissect a real perch specimen. Each perch came with its own disposable tray and tools (all age appropriate), so our members had everything needed to get the most out of their experience. Members were instructed on the anatomy of the perch, and were able to locate and observe the various parts and organs of the fish. Some of our perch even had eggs!
Our members loved every minute of this activity! They not only got to learn a lot about the perch, but also how cool science can really be.
For privacy purposes, Steven's last name has been omitted.
Steven, a senior at Hillsboro High School, was named “Youth of the Year” on March 6th, 2014, by Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland.
He’s been attending the Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club in Hillsboro for 10 years, and Steven, 17, said being a part of the Club has helped him so much during his childhood and youth that he realized he wanted to give something back.
“It’s kept me on track,” Steven said of the guidance and support he’s received.
One of five Portland area youths competing for Youth of the Year honors, Steven won a $1,000 scholarship and will represent the Portland metropolitan area in statewide competition April 11, 2014.
If he’s chosen to be the statewide youth of the year, he’ll go on to represent Oregon in the regional contest and then, possibly, the national competition.
Steven credits the Inukai Family Club for giving him the support he needed during a particularly difficult time in his life.
“Heading into my teenage years, my life was struck with disaster. The death of my father had struck me hard and it struck me fast,” he shares. “I had made many attempts at suicide while mourning the tragic realization of my father’s passing. For a while I kept to myself ... finally, after weeks of blocking myself out, I opened up ... After explaining my hardships to staff and friends, I felt a great weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Steven now volunteers his time at the Club, in between classes at and a part-time job he has taken on to help support his family. He is the oldest child in the family, and three of Steven's four brothers also attend the Boys & Girls Club.
“It’s like a family affair,” said Club director Nick Eaton, who describes Steven as “dynamic.”
Eaton said Steven has been involved with the Club’s leadership training since middle school, when he was a member of the Torch Club, and now as a Leader-in-Training. Leadership Club members learn life skills and values such as citizenship and community service.
“Steven doesn’t have the easiest smile, doesn’t say much, but truly shines as a leader,” Eaton said. “He exhibits his leadership through actions rather than words; doesn’t give in to the many vices that plague so many of today’s teens; remains loyal to his family as the man of the house; is driven, responsible, caring and goofy.”
After high school, Steven hopes to attend Portland Community College and then transfer to Portland State University.
Looking back, Steven recalls his first, tenuous visit to the Club as a 7-year-old.
“Stepping off the school bus, I speculated why my parents would ever force me to come to this place,” he wrote in an essay. “A small building surrounded by broken streets, the loud hum of moving trains, and the everlasting presence of police sirens around the city.”
However, Steven finally did step in the door.
“I saw that it was full with excited faces, and laughing children. I was received by name,” he wrote.
Now, 10 years later, he’s one of those who warmly greets the youngsters who step through the door for the first time.
“I love this place,” Steven said. “It’s a great place.”