Monthly Archives: August 2016

Calling all Volunteers

Back2SchoolVolunteer_webslideDo you have a passion for helping? Do you love to cook? Maybe you really love sharing your interest in photography. Or you would love to help design a youth community service project. If you have a passion for youth, a passion for serving your community, and interest in helping to teach others, we need you! With the return to school, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County are calling all volunteers to come & help make our Club programs great. Open after-school Monday-Friday, from 2:45pm- 6:00pm, our Clubs serve youth ages 6-18. All programs run for 30-60 min, and fall under Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character & Citizenship. We would love to include you! Contact Katelynn Sullivan at ksullivan@skagitclubs.org, or 360-419-3723 x8.

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2016 College Tour sponsored by Tesoro

Gavin and Charles at Old Faithful

Gavin and Charles at Old Faithful

As a wrap up and celebration of the Club’s first program year of increasing STEM activities and programming, 31 teens were able to participate in a College Tour Road Trip. Thank you to Tesoro Corp. for sponsoring STEM programming at the Clubs and giving these these teens the opportunity to explore the colleges, universities, and trade schools of the Pacific Northwest.

Early Monday morning, August 15th, 2016, 31 Club teens and nine staff embarked on a journey of academic exploration through Washington, Idaho, Montana, and back in order to inspire their futures. Beginning with a visit of the Central Washington University campus and continuing on to Perry Technical Institute to learn what tech and trade schools are all about, teens learned that they don’t have to go far from home to obtain a post-secondary education. Other schools visited included Boise State University, Eastern Idaho Tech, Montana State University, University of Montana, and Eastern Washington University. It was eye opening and inspiring to hear what the teens had to say about each school; “This campus is beautiful, I could really see myself going here.” “This is the program I want to be in.” “I had no idea that this was even a thing.” “When’s lunch?” Out of all of the schools visited, Club members were most impressed with University of Montana and Eastern Washington University, not only because they have great programs, but also because the campuses are incredible and beautiful.

Another aspect of this trip was to meet new people, visit new places, and experience new things. This would have been a much different trip without help from friends of the Clubs. Thanks to the generosity of other Boys & Girls Clubs and friends of the community, the group had places to stay overnight and were well cared for. The Boys & Girls Club of Prosser, WA arranged an overnight location for everyone and also planned a BBQ dinner and exclusive swimming pool time at the aquatics center next to their Club. Thank you to new friends at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Magic Valley, ID for allowing the group to overnight in their amazing clubhouse and arranging for the group to shower up after a long day on the road. Reaching out to old friends of the Sedro-Woolley Club, the group had a place to stay in Bozeman, MT before touring MSU; thank you Shawna and Michael Wright who used to volunteer with the Sedro-Woolley Club.

As a special bonus on the trip, the group was able to spend some time at Yellowstone National Park and was able to view the Old Faithful geyser erupting and explore the visitor and education center at the park. The group was also able to make a special stop for lunch at the Petrified Forest State Park in Vantage, WA and discover what the park had to offer before their final trek home.

Things to look forward to: the Clubs are implementing a newly developed Tesoro STEM Academy program for the school year and have already begun plans for next summer’s college trip to include STEM programs and careers in Oregon, plus a special experience to witness a total solar eclipse in Newport, OR to kickoff the next adventure.  

Photos from the trip are available on our Flickr photo album.

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Boys & Girls Clubs:A return of nearly $20 million on local investment

A newly commissioned study by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) found that Clubs are a sound investment, providing more than $12 in benefits to the community for every dollar invested. 

The study, conducted by the Institute for Social Research and the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, found that every dollar invested in Boys & Girls Clubs returns $12.29 in current and future earnings, as well as cost-savings, to communities in Washington State. The biggest benefits are from Club members’ improved grades and reduced alcohol use and their parents’ earnings. Collectively, Clubs spend $1.4 billion annually on operating costs, resulting in $13.8 billion in lifetime benefits to youth, families and society.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County has been serving the youth who need us most for nearly 20 years. By providing programs that focus on Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles, Clubs have helped generations of young people achieve the great futures they deserve. Every year Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County spends $1.6 million on operating costs for six Club locations, creating $19,664,000 in economic benefits to youth, families, and the community.

“We were thrilled, but not surprised, to receive the results of this study. We have long known how valuable Clubs are to our community, but it’s great to have independent confirmation of the benefits Clubs provide, not only to young people, but to their parents and the community as well,” said Ron McHenry, CEO and Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County

The study is the first national return on investment estimate for Boys & Girls Clubs. Researchers made use of newly available youth outcomes data, collected through surveys of Club members across the country, to examine how the costs required to provide Club programming compare to the long-term benefits for youth and families in economic terms.

The study indicates that Boys & Girls Club services and programs produce tremendous value for youth, families and their communities. Clubs help increase the earning power of parents, as well as of youth when they become adults. They also contribute to major savings for society by helping to prevent costly expenditures for health care, public assistance programs, and criminal justice system involvement and incarceration.

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Club Members Rewarded for Regular Attendance

IMG_7491_27259155006_mClub members were rewarded for regular attendance through the 2015-2016 school year with brand new bicycles, made possible by Odyssey Teams and Shell Refinery.

Fifteen of the highest attending Club Members were taken on a surprise field trip in late May to the Skagit Valley Casino, where unbeknownst to them, a team from Shell Refinery had been busy building bikes as part of an advanced leadership training provided by Odyssey Teams.  Part of Odyssey’s unique approach on leadership and team building is to have groups assemble bicycles. Those bikes are then given to local youth selected by the client, in this case, Shell refinery. 

The “big reveal” went both ways, as the teams building the bikes, didn’t know who they were for. Kids and staff gathered to enjoy snacks while pontificating on what the surprise might be. “I’m happy there is cheese,” said one Club member. “I’m the Cheesemaster!” That got everyone laughing, even though, they were trying so hard to be quiet. 

Their patience was rewarded as they entered the room each holding a number that corresponded with their bike building team. Club members were slightly in shock, turning to glee, as they took in the news. Shell employees spent time with Club members, getting to know them and helping them try out their new bikes.

For most these Club members this is their first new bicycle or it replaces a hand-me-down bicycle from an older sibling. Along with the bicycle, they received a new helmet and bike lock. All bikes were inspected by mechanics from Skagit Cycle. 

“We’re very thankful to Shell for selecting the Boys & Girls Club to be the recipient of the bikes. All the members who received a bike come to their local Club nearly every day it’s open, throughout the school year. We are happy to make a difference in their lives, as they make a difference in ours.”, said Noah Bannister, Director of Operations.

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New Cooking Club for Teens

Zeke and Patricia

Zeke and Patricia

On Wednesdays this last spring, teenage members of the Sedro-Woolley Boys & Girls Club were given the opportunity to participate in a special Cooking Club. Thanks to the efforts of volunteer Patricia Stephens, and the Helping Hands Food Bank, the Woolley Teens learned how to make a variety of unique, interesting, and often, healthy dishes. 

“I liked learning new things to make for when I’m at home, because I didn’t know how to make most of that stuff” said Brandon Deleon “It was really fun to learn new things to bake and cook.”

Some of the dishes they created included homemade pop tarts, using jelly and pie crust, and spaghetti made with squash. They were shown how to make homemade pizza and introduced to bread pudding, which most of them had never even heard of before, but now love. 

Great programs like Cooking Club are made possible because of the support of the community and awesome volunteers like Patricia. The Club is extremely grateful for their support. Cooking Club will be taking a short break over summer but the teens are looking forward to its return in the fall.

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Skagit Valley Windermere’s Volunteer Day

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Left to Right: David Mani, Karen Peirolo, Jim Glackin, Don Neil, Bette Thompson, Tiffany Danley, Megan O’Bryan, Dawn Hardman, Jim Scott, Joshua Scott, Geri Cole, Debora McNeal, Shawn Danley, Cory Kiehn,Harry Ota. Not Pictured: Jamie Yantis.

On Friday, June 3rd, Skagit Valley Windermere agents held a Volunteer Day at the Sedro-Woolley Boys & Girls Club. Taking time out of their personal lives to join together on a sunny Friday morning, they came to improve the Club and Club grounds. Volunteers brought gardening supplies and got to work weed whacking the overgrown flower beds, pulling weeds around the flowers and vegetables, sweeping & pulling weeds from the concrete, and picking up trash from around the Club house. 

Not only did they make the outside look refreshed, but they worked on the inside, as well. In the spirit of our beloved Seattle Seahawks, they painted the entire hallway of the Club from top to bottom in blue and green—even including the grey trim. The Club is looking very polished and ready for summer programs which began on June 15.

“They really seemed to take pride in what they were doing,” said Katelynn Sullivan, the Community Development Coordinator at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County. “It was apparent that all of the volunteers were enjoying themselves and having fun with the project. That was the best part, to see them enjoying what they were doing for the Club and its members.”

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