The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha was presented the prestigious Gateway to Impact Award, a Boys & Girls Club of America national award, at the annual Midwest Leadership Conference in Louisville, KY, Wednesday, October 5th. Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha’s CEO, Jake McGhee and Director of Operations, Kathy Holland were in attendance to accept the award given in recognition of the organization’s exceptional increase in average daily attendance.
“Our creative community partnerships have really allowed us to expand programming and we are committed to pursuing more of those types of opportunities. We feel these relationships have increased our ability to positively impact the lives of even more youth in Kenosha,” said Jake McGhee.
Resourceful and essential alliances between the Kenosha community and Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha is cited as the driving force behind the agency’s ability to serve more youth, more often. The Lincoln Park Outpost program, Kenosha County Summer Youth Employment, the Gus the Bus campaign and English as a Second Language classes are all successful illustrations of dedicated group effort and teamwork.
The need for the Lincoln Park Outpost Program was identified by concerned community members and facilitated by the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha this past summer. This crucial program provided a safe place with positive programming, to over 215 youth; which attended 1,812 times during the 11-week program. Several community organizations and volunteers were on hand each day working with Boys & Girls Club staff to implement programs and mentor youth.
The 2016 Kenosha County Summer Youth Employment, which employed 206 of Kenosha’s highest at-risk youth, represented a successful partnership between: Kenosha County, Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, Community Impact Programs, Kenosha Unified School District and various local public and private business. Since the start of the program in 2008, juvenile crime in Kenosha over the summer months has decreased by 70%. Many have attributed this decrease in crime to the over 24,000 hours of work completed by the at-risk youth during the 8 week program.
Gus the Bus, a Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha’s transportation initiative, provides students from 6 elementary school afterschool transportation to the Boys and Girls Club free of charge. By collaborating with the Kenosha Achievement Center (KAC) the average daily attendance of youth has doubled to nearly 100 since the beginning of the school year. KAC provides bus drivers for this program which has been critical to the program’s effective implementation.
Lastly, English as a second language classes are the result of a recent partnership with the Kenosha Literacy Council. The KLC is providing opportunities for parents to attend English classes at the Boys and Girls Club while their children attend the Youth Center. The program simultaneously enables the adult learners a way to feel more connected to their community while providing the Boys and Girls Club another chance to positively impact the lives of more youth.
A membership to the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is $20 per year for the year or $0.11 per day. The cost provides members with daily various opportunities that are not limited to; homework help, quality educational programming, mentoring, and chef prepared healthy dinners. From June through December of 2015, 25,000 meals were served. For youth participating in sports leagues through the Boys & Girls Club, the membership fee is included in the registration fee.
The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha hours are as follows: Youth Center (ages 6-12) is open Monday-Thursday from 3:00pm-7:00pm and Friday 12:00pm-5:00pm. The CLUB/Teen Center (ages 13-18) is open Monday-Thursday 3:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and Friday 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting health, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. The club helps youth improve their lives by building skills, values and self-esteem in order to prevent potential gang involvement and alcohol and/or drug abuse.