Oct 27, 2015

Get to know Sandy and the Twilight program

Your support makes a difference to kids like Sandy
Your support makes a difference to kids like Sandy

Thanks for supporting the Boys & Girls Club's Sponsor a Child program. To show you what your dollars do, I'd like to help you get to know two award winners - 9th grader Sandy and the Boys & Girls Club's Twilight Education Project. This year, Sandy won an award from her school for her very high grade point average. Around the same time, the Club’s Twilight Education Project was honored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as the best education program offered by any of the 4,000+ Boys & Girls Clubs in the nation.

What do these two award winners have in common? A lot. Sandy spends every Tuesday – Thursday evening at the Twilight Education Project getting help with her homework and participating in the Club’s enrichment activities. Sandy started coming to the Twilight Education Project two years ago. Our Program Director Becky Sanchez says, “When she first started, Sandy’s attitude made it tough to work with her. I had to spend a lot of time in her classroom, telling her ‘You can’t talk to staff like that. You can’t talk to other kids like that.’ She was really rebellious and she got suspended from school a lot. Her grades were below average. In the two years that she’s been with us, she has done a total 180 degree change.”

In Twilight, our staff gave Sandy a lot of one-on-one attention, working through the attitude to find out what would help Sandy thrive and do better in school. They found out a couple of important things that helped turn things around. Sandy was lacking in confidence – not in ability. She’s bright, but when the work felt a little hard, she’d often say, “I can’t do this, it’s too hard for me.” Our staff answered right back, “Yes, you CAN do this.” The encouragement made a world of difference. Second, the staff started focusing on the things about school that Sandy really enjoys, like literature. That helped build her confidence and her interest. Sandy's new confidence helped her see that she can do hard work, in any subject. With academic support and encouragement from the Twilight staff and volunteers, Sandy has gone from a C student to an award-winner who is excelling in AP and Honors classes. We are so proud of Sandy, and we’re also very proud of the Twilight Education Project that helped make her success possible.

The Twilight Education Project is a completely donor-funded program that we couldn’t run without you. There are no fees to cover the operating budget, just generous people like you who want to help kids like Sandy. Thanks to you, Twilight runs three evenings a week at Golden West College and helps every member of low-income English Language Learner families. Parents learn English as a second language and get job skills training. School age kids get homework help and enrichment programs. Young children get preschool instruction. Every child gets a free meal every night of the program. And, we provide bus transportation to and from 25 neighborhoods in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, and Westminster.

All of this is completely free, thanks to supporters like you. In May, the Twilight Education Project received Boys & Girls Club's of America's Honor Award for Program Excellence in Education and Career Development. It ranks Twilight as the #1 Boys & Girls Club education program in the nation. One of the reasons Twilight was chosen for this special honor is the exceptional results that participating families achieve, year after year. In 2015, 92% of youth did better in school because of the help that they got in the program. And, the program isn’t just helping kids. Families in the program are earning more money so parents are able to provide a more stable home for their kids. More than 60% of parents in the program got a job, a raise, or a promotion this year because of the English and job skills they learned in Twilight. That’s what I love so much about this program – whole families learn and whole families do better. That’s all because of you. Your support helps change Sandy’s life and the lives of more than 400 people in Twilight this year. Thank you.

Ready to help more kids like Sandy? Please make your donation today.

Oct 27, 2015

KaBOOM! Now we have a playground!

Ribbon cutting of new playground
Ribbon cutting of new playground

The Club’s new Family Campus is slowly but surely being built on the Golden West College Campus. One part of the construction process that didn’t go slowly at all is the new playground!

In just one day, 200 volunteers came together to build the new play structure, add wood chips so the kids have a soft surface to play on, put together picnic tables and benches for the Club’s new eating areas, put in raised garden beds, and so much more. To make this special build day possible, the Boys & Girls Club teamed up with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit that helps bring play spaces to kids in need around the country.

Michelle was one of the 200 volunteers who built the playground for the kids. In the planning process, she chaired the “play committee,” which was responsible for making build day fun for the volunteers. Michelle says, “A lot of planning went into this one big day. After weeks of conference calls and working hard to make everything possible for build day, it was really fun to see it all come together. My daughter comes to the Boys & Girls Club's Kingston branch in Fountain Valley. She really loves the Club and I’m glad to be part of making a play space for other kids like her in our community. Being part of this process also showed me how many people in this community care enough about kids like mine to do something that will really make a difference for them.”

I know that, just like Michelle and all the other volunteers who helped build the playground, you care enough to make a difference to Huntington Beach's kids, too. Your support is still needed. To help build the new Boys & Girls Club and give hundreds of kids each day a safe place to learn and play, please make your gift today! 

Construction progress on new school age Club
Construction progress on new school age Club
Construction progress on new gym
Construction progress on new gym

Links:

Aug 10, 2015

Thanks for being "a light amidst the darkness"

Thanks for helping this Club teen!
Thanks for helping this Club teen!

Recently, I received a letter from a teen Club member and I'd like to share part of it with you. You'll see right away what a tremendous impact you have had on kids who need you.

"When I didn’t feel safe at school or outside of my house, I turned to the Boys & Girls Club to help me feel like I had a place in the world. A year after I started attending the Club, my family and I were at a tough time in our lives. My father was out of work, and he had just been diagnosed with cancer. With my dad in such a critical position, I had a lot of extra anxieties and fear. My only outlet was the Boys & Girls Club, where I could put aside my troubles. Without the Boys and Girls Club, I wouldn’t have found the light amidst the darkness. I felt like all the adults there were behind me. When I needed extra encouragement, they were there."

Thank you for giving her a place to belong, a place to be a carefree kid, a place with adults who care. You made a tremendous difference in this young person's life by supporting the Club's scholarship program. Thank you.  

Please consider renewing your support of this project with a gift today - you could be the light in the darkness that changes a child's life for the better! 

 
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