The Boys & Girls Clubs of Stanislaus County concluded participation in National Boys & Girls Club Week during an open house Friday, giving the community a glimpse of what the program offers children.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Stanislaus County, which began operating in August 2013, serves 300 students in after-school programs at Sylvan and Coleman F. Brown elementary schools and Somerset Middle School, all in the Sylvan Union School District.
From the end of the school day until 6 p.m., the organization offers programs in five core areas: character and leadership development; sports, fitness and recreation; education and career development; the arts; and health and life skills, said Sarah Bautista, director of operations.
During the open house at Sylvan Elementary, schoolchildren showed off some of what they learned at stations set up in the multipurpose room.
All the children introduced themselves to visitors, and many extended a hand, good manners and leadership skills taught by the Boys & Girls Club.
The art students showed off compact discs decorated to look like the fish in the children’s book “The Rainbow Fish.” SMART Girls program participants spoke with bright smiles about the blankets they made for dogs in animal shelters. And two little scientists gave away the secret ingredient of making “goo.”
The organization operates within the Sylvan district under the After School Education & Safety Grant but is looking at expanding soon, after becoming one of eight Stanislaus County agencies to receive a portion of a $2.1 million Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant last month.
The organization also has a program called Graduate 4 Mas for junior high and high school students, focusing on character development and academic success so all members graduate from high school on time.
Other activities scheduled during Boys & Girls Club Week included recognizing club members for academic success, starting a mentoring program and honoring club members who participate in volunteer projects.
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Locally, club membership is $10 per year.