There’s something afoot in our community that’s making a difference. It’s The Boys and Girls Club of Lakewood. This group has always been about the serious challenge voiced here in our town last year by Bill Cosby. That challenge was: Affect the lives of your young people so that it positively affects the lives they will lead.
As a former teacher and school principal, I’ve been in the education business for over thirty years. I’ve also been to many a presentation on making a difference in young people’s lives. Somehow, we adults have a difficult time meeting such a challenge, especially to the extent that Cosby has asked. Where do we start? How do we organize such a thing? How can we keep the ball rolling in the right direction? The questions seem overwhelming.
But, I’m here to say that The Boys and Girls Club is doing it. One way is through their performing arts program headed by Deloris Gowens. Each month, kids participate in a play, talent show, or presentation of some sort. These events build self-confidence. They build a sense of self and direction. They involve teamwork with other young people and adults.
Recently, the club presented a Trashion Fashion Show featuring clothes designed entirely from recycled material. I saw this show and it was the ultimate in creativity, parent involvement, and caring.
What else is going on? Did I mention the Bott Lab run by Eva Henderson? Here’s a teacher dedicated to helping students become computer literate. She is teaching skills that will be of help for entire lifetimes, no matter what field of work is tackled.
The club is also engaging other community organizations. Lakeview Elementary School exchanges time and space to work with students. Recently, the Lions Club displayed student-made background scenes at their auction. There’s also the Lakewood Playhouse that is entering a collaborative agreement with The Boys and Girls Club. In addition, there are those of you who have donated money from your business or personal budgets to help make this club possible. Know that your dollars are being well spent.
The bottom line here is that young people and families are being affected. Under the skillful guidance of a dedicated staff and administration, Bill Cosby’s challenge is being met. Lives are being affected and that’s MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
The Boys and Girls Club
P.S. When can you see the next performance (The Night Before Christmas)? It’s December 5 at 4:15 p.m. at Lakeview Elementary School–right across the yard from The Boys and Girls Club on Kline Street, a block off 108th Street. See you there!
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