Thank you so much for supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley's scholarship program!
Here's how you made a difference in 2015. Thanks to you:
• 9,550 children’s fees were subsidized to make the Club affordable for all families.
• 528 kids received 50% scholarships.
• 725 children received 100% scholarships and attended the Club for free.
That's a lot of lives that you changed for the better. But, your support is about much more than numbers, it's about the real difference that it makes to families in need. That's why I'd like to share with you what a mom named Ashley from our Fountain Valley branch shared with us. She says:
“Being a part of Boys & Girls Club has been a blessing. As a single mother of two, things can become very stressful and overwhelming. The financial burden can become debilitating. This scholarship from the Club helps me continue to work and provide for both my children. Seeing the joy my son gets from being a part of the Boys & Girls Club is heart-warming. He loves the staff. Thank you for providing a fun and safe environment for my son.”
Thanks for giving families like Ashley's the help they need to succeed!
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.
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!
Thanks to your support of the Boys & Girls Club, some of the most at-risk kids at our Oak View Branch are getting a chance to do something pretty special this spring. These city kids are spending some time doing something they’ve never done before – hanging out with horses.
Why horses? Because spending time with horses is actually teaching kids a lot about how to make good choices and be a better person. In partnership with the Huntington Beach Police Department and the Huntington Park Equestrian Center, a dozen pre-teens and teens are participating in equine therapy. The kids chosen for this program were headed down the wrong path - toward gangs, drugs, and dropping out of school. Now, they’re spending time with police officers and horses each week and loving every minute of it.
From the first moment the kids walked into the paddock, they started learning. Lesson #1: If you respect the horses, the horses respect you. If you’re aggressive, the horses are aggressive. The kids learn that it’s the same with the people in their lives. Starting with that first lesson, kids work their way through a curriculum developed by Horse Nation with certified counselors. In a group therapy setting, kids talk openly about topics like anger, bullying, drugs, gangs, leadership, self-esteem, relationships, family, peace-keeping, and the possibilities for their futures. Then kids get a chance to “hug and groom” the animals and do group activities with the horses that illustrate the concepts they talked about in group therapy. It’s a unique way to steer kids who were starting down the wrong path away from drugs, violence and other dangerous behaviors. The kids are excited about it and Program Director Becky Sanchez says after just four weeks of the program, parents started telling her they were already seeing a big difference in their children’s behavior and choices.
A volunteer named Sue told us, “The social workers and Dr. Carole have the right touch with the kids. The kids don’t seem intimidated at all but open up to the questions asked. While I was there, they all participated in an activity where two horses were used to portray things they’d like to leave in the past and things they’d like to see in their future. They divided the corral up the middle where the east side was the past and the west side was the present. The kids wrote their words on duct tape and applied them to the past horse and the future horse. Some of the things I saw them write to leave in the past were anger, drugs and more. Things to see in the future were peace, smiles, relaxation. It was amazing.”
Thank you for helping turn things around for a kid who really needs help from you and the Boys & Girls Club. You’ve given a child a special experience that they’ll remember for their whole lives. It makes a big difference. Please consider making another gift today to sponsor a child at the Club. Your continued partnership helps us keep changing kids’ lives for the better.
Thanks to supporters like you, in 2014, our Oak View Branch gave a safe haven to more than 400 children from Huntington Beach’s most impoverished and dangerous neighborhood. In an area where gangs are trying to get elementary and middle school kids involved, where shootings and drugs are common, the Boys & Girls Club makes a real difference in kids’ lives. At the Club, they are safe. They have the chance to learn, play, and be carefree kids.The kids at our Oak View branch are living in extreme poverty. The average family has three kids and supports the whole family on an income of less than $1400 per month. Kids don’t always have enough to eat at home. They don’t have space to play because they are sharing apartments with other families and it’s not safe to play outside. Kids don’t have home computers to do their schoolwork. Poverty also puts the kids our Oak View Branch at greater risk of failing in school and having behavioral problems. The Boys & Girls Club helps with all of those things.
Here’s how your support of the Club makes a difference. Every single day, kids get a healthy meal so they won’t go hungry during their out of school time. Kids have space to play at the Club. About 75% say the Club is the only place they do active play or exercise outside of school. Kids get access to computer labs and our staff help them with their homework so that they have a better chance to succeed in school. We also run special academic focused programs that help children do better in school, too. It works - in 2014, 68% of kids in our summer reading program improved their reading by a full grade level!
And our caring staff make a big difference in kids’ behavior, too. One of our members, Aldi, has really benefited from your gift of a sponsorship to the Boys & Girls Club this last year. He’s been with us since the Oak View Branch opened in fall 2012. Becky, the site’s Program Director, says, “Aldi’s been a troubled kid from the start. He’s had a bad temper and a lot of trouble with being a good sport. On top of that, his mom had a baby this year and she was struggling a lot with post-partum depression. Her low moods and emotional struggles took a toll on Aldi. I noticed that he was really down and that his temper and sportsmanship were getting worse than ever. To help, we made Aldi part of our mentoring program. Aldi and his mentor meet each week to talk. His mentor paid special attention to Aldi in the program areas as well. Aldi has improved so much! When he’s struggling, he comes and talks to his mentor. He’s getting a good handle on his temper and becoming a good sport. This fall, we launched a brand new flag football league. Aldi played in the league and learned about being part of a team, working together with his friends. And, he even got to be a leader as team captain. This opportunity to be a leader transformed how he saw himself and how he wanted others to see him. As team captain, he felt like he needed to set a good example for the team. So, even when the team lost, he showed much better sportsmanship than he ever had before. We encourage that same desire to be a leader off the field, too. We remind him that he is the oldest child in his family and he can be a role model and a good example for his younger siblings. The combination of mentoring, teamwork, and leadership has been amazing for Aldi. He’s a much happier kid now and I have seen a lot of growth in his good character.” You're changing one life at a time by supporting the Boys & Girls Club. And it adds up! More than 9,500 children will benefit from the Boys & Girls Club in 2015. Thank you for your past support and we hope you will consider making a gift today to change another life for the better!
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