Since 1995, it has been the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
During the 2015 – 2016 school year, we will provide direct services to over 1,800 youth in Skagit County. Each and every day at our Clubhouses we offer a variety of Targeted Programs aimed at helping Members achieve the Priority Outcomes of Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and, Good Character & Citizenship.
The conversation about academic success occurs early and often at the Boys & Girls Club. It isn’t one about simply graduating high school, instead it’s a discussion about how an entire scholastic career, including post-secondary education or training, prepares an individual for life. Once a child is in elementary school, we offer programs to keep them thinking beyond the regular school day, as well as academic assistance and tutoring. When youth are in middle school and high school, we work hard to prepare them for the college application and scholarship process, as well as enable them to find the right pathway when they graduate.
To reach Academic Success, our members are on-time to graduate with a plan for after high school that includes either University, College, Trade School, Apprenticeship, Military Service, or other Full-time Employment. Ultimately, our members know how important it is to LEARN.
In Triple Play, youth learn the importance of staying active while balancing a healthy mind, body, and soul. Members can participate in sport clubs, tournaments, field days, and more, to build self-esteem and good sportsmanship qualities. We encourage our youth to be active for 60 minutes each day, and ensure they have organized and free-play activities at the Club to meet that goal. Other programs like Healthy Habits work to introduce important nutrition routines early, so a child reaches for a granola bar instead of a candy bar, and does so because of a conscious choice.
Demonstrating Healthy Lifestyles is not just about nutrition and exercise, and our programs continue beyond those foundational areas. Passport to Manhood and SMARTGirls pairs our kids up with specific mentors and advisors in curriculum designed to help teens navigate through adolescence and gain skills in avoiding peer pressure, especially regarding the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and drugs. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County post outcomes far above the national average in these areas; in 2014, 100% of our youth abstained from using tobacco products.
Reflecting the values and interests of our communities, our Club kids learn about other ways to be active and healthy, including utilization of the bounty of public parks and open spaces for outdoor recreation activities, and consuming locally grown and sourced foodstuffs. It’s not only that it is delicious, and generally better for one’s health, but keeping it local eliminates some environmental impact as well. Every day, our kids are learning to LIVE.
At more than $48,000, incarcerating a juvenile in the state of Washington is incredibly expensive. That’s much more than providing them with a safe, fun, and positive place to go during the important out-of-school hours and then engaging them in programs and activities that have proven results. For the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, it costs about $1,200 a year per member to provide services at one of our four Clubhouses – located in Anacortes, La Conner, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley. Kids don’t come to the Club to have their character changed. They often arrive because they’ve heard it’s fun, or they have no where else to go. The Club works to place professionally trained staff and screened mentors and volunteers with our members so that relationships of trust can be built upon a foundation of fun and engagement. Through programs like Keystone and Torch Clubs, iCivics, Youth for Unity, and Youth of the Year, our Club members learn the importance of Good Character & Citizenship; be an engaged citizen involved in the community, register to vote, and model strong character. They LEAD.
When you volunteer, contribute resources, attend an event, advocate on behalf of our youth, or any number of different ways to give, you are making an investment in the youth of Skagit County, and really, the future.