By Erik Kramer, Director
At the Boys & Girls Club, we are committed to making the community of Lakewood better. How do we do that? By investing time, energy and our hearts into the youth of today, who will become the future leaders of this community tomorrow. A lot of times, people become confused when pondering the result of a positive Boys & Girls Club experience. They believe that it is a happy, successful kid. While that certainly is the case, this is not the “end game”. The end game is a successful adult. As we have more young people flowing through our programs, in a positive and safe place, where there are supportive relationships fostered and opportunities and high expectations instilled, we believe the community will be better.
We have what we refer to as our three impact areas. These are the focus outcomes of our organization. They are: academic success, character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. We believe that if we can help young people grow in these three areas, then when they become adults, they will be productive, caring and responsible citizens.
How do we measure this impact? We have developed a strategy to use the school’s “Healthy Youth Survey”, which all kids in 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grade take. This survey asks questions around a child’s academic success, their overall health, both physical and emotional, their future thought and outlook on life, as well as their home life and environment. We then have our kids at the Club take a similar survey and we compare the results. We believe that if we compare the kids who come to the Club against their peer group, we can isolate just what impact the Boys & Girls Club has on these young people.
|Question||Lakewood Boys & Girls Club Middle Schoolers||Hudtloff/Lockburn Middle School|
|Almost always enjoy being in school||34%||28%|
|Volunteered for community service||91%||36%|
|Never been arrested||94%||88%|
|In the last 30 days, have not drank alcohol||94%||88%|
|60 min. of physical activity per day||38%||27%|
As a result of the Lakewood Boys & Girls Club, young people are more likely to enjoy school, more likely to volunteer and give back to their community, less likely to be arrested, less likely to drink alcohol and more likely to get a healthy amount of physical activity each day. These young people are the future of our community and because of the programs at the Lakewood Boys & Girls Club, the future is brighter!