Kilmarnock Club Celebrates First Graduates
The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck today announced the launch of a national Great Futures Campaign focused on mobilizing communities in support of kids and empowering today’s youth to achieve great futures. The Kilmarnock Clubis joining Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide toredefine the opportunity equation for kids by elevating the critical role out-of-school time plays in a child’s development. Through the Great Futures Campaign, the Club seeksto ensure that every child and teen has access to a safe place after school and during the summer where they can build the knowledge, skills and behaviors to put them on a path to success.
Every day, 15 million kids nationwide (1 out of 4) leave school with no place to go, putting them at risk of being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe. During the summer, an alarming 43 million (3 out of 4) kids in America lack access to summer learning programs, increasing their risk of learning loss and putting them at a disadvantage before the school year starts. The way a child spends their time after school and during the summer can significantly impact the path they take.
“When the nation prepares to go back to school this fall, our Club wants to ensure out-of-school is part of the conversation.We’retaking a leadership role with the Great Futures Campaign to elevate the impact of out-of-school time, a critical, yet often overlooked, part of their day,” said Executive Director Phillip Mumford. “When school is out, no child should go unsafe or unguided. Through the Campaign, we are advocating on behalf of kids and convening public, private and nonprofit partners around our goal of ensuring all kids have access to a safe, engaging and productive place to go between school and home.”
A response to the crises facing America’s kids, the campaign is focused on reversing the most negative trends facing youth and the country:
- Today’s generation is estimated to be worse off than their parents, the first in America’s history
- Our nation’s graduation rate ranks 22nd among 28 countries
- Three out of 10 kids are obese or overweight
- One in 5 American kids live in poverty
Nationally, the issues have economic implications, costing as much as $209 billion in lost taxes and higher government expenditures over the lifetimes of those who fail to graduate. Healthcare costs to treat issues related to childhood obesity are $14.1 billion annually, and states spend an average of $7.1 million a day locking youth up in juvenile justice facilities.
“The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neckhas been serving the community with after-school and summer programs for over sixyears. Currently the Club has a membership reaching 400 youth on an annual basis. Our after-school programs have an average daily attendance of 75 to100 youth. It is our goal to increase our daily after-school attendance to at least 125. Reaching more youth more often with well thought out programs that are both fun and educational is key to our being able to achieve this goal. During the after-school hours, we’ve seen the positive impact that occurs when young people have access to a safe place with caring adult mentors and enriching programs, said Mumford. “We want today’s generation to be successful in school and in adulthood, to be healthy and active, and to develop strong character skills they need to become future leaders for our country.”
Because the Club is still so young, it was not until this spring that it was able to celebrate the high school graduation of any of its members. Alexander Anderson and Tre’Von Waters have been members of the Boys & Girls Club since its inception and are deeply appreciative of the impact the Club has had on their lives—their growth, positive experiences and preparation for the future. As a result of the Club’s strong emphasis on academic achievement, Anderson and Waters achieved the honor roll multiple times during the four years and have been accepted for admission to Hampton University this fall. Both young men have also been selected as the Club’s Youth of the Year—Tre’Von in 2012 and Alex in 2014.
Boys & Girls Clubs reach kids most in need with outcome-driven programs designed to increase their performance in the areas of education, health and character development. Research shows that when kids attend the Club more frequently, the impact grows, so Clubs create a fun and engaging environment that keeps kids coming back. Goals for the Club’s participation in the Great Futures Campaign include:
- Increase membership and access to the Club for kids who need a safe place to go after school and during the summer
- Ensure successful transitions to middle and high school, and foster college- or career-readiness with 21st century skills
- Motivate kids to be healthy through nutrition and health education, more access to healthy foods, avoidance of risky behaviors and a lifelong commitment to fitness
- Engage youth in taking action in their community and the world, promote resilience, build character strength, and develop the next generation of America’s leaders
The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck is asking the public to help the Club reach more kids and put them on the path to a great future. For more information about the Great Futures Campaign and how you can help this local Club reach and retain the kids who need us most, visit us at 517 N. Main Street, Kilmarnock or call Phillip Mumford at 804-435-9696.
Left: Alexander Anderson – 2014 Youth of the Year.
Right:Tre’Von Waters sings the National Anthem at the Club’s 2013 Steak & Burger event.