Most of us in Northwest Indiana know of the Boys and Girls Clubs sprinkled throughout our towns and cities, and the lucky among us have fond memories of them from our childhoods. In fact, 1 in 16 adults spent time at a Club as a child. The Boys and Girls Clubs do more than provide after school care for children- much, much more!
Recently, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana and Porter County merged to become one unified organization, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.
“At the center of our past, present and future decisions is one simple question, what is in the best interest of all kids? It really is that simple,” explained President and CEO Ryan Smiley. “At the end of the day, we had two successful youth serving organizations with the same mission, and we knew together, we could have a greater impact in serving more than 10,000 youth and teens throughout Northwest Indiana.”
This merger allowed them to streamline their services by reducing redundancies, business expenses and duplicated services. This streamlining will allow Boys and Girls Clubs to reinvest the money saved directly into the mission, programming and staff.
The Boys and Girls Clubs recently revamped their Duneland Club with fun and educational resources alike. They offer the Teen Lounge that allows older members to have a safe place of their own to hang with friends, do their homework and relax after school. The Club also has a program called "Money Matters" that teaches them how to balance a checkbook and learn about saving.
There’s also the "Art Room," which focuses on fine arts, digital arts and all-around creativity. "The Learning Center" is the tutoring hub that aids students in any subject and prepares them to further their education beyond high school. There is also a well-stocked "STEM Lab," which will allow the kids to build robots, study plants in a tower garden and use their hands to build things from start to finish.
"The Tech Zone" teaches members how to use computers to finish homework, engage in educational games or learn to code. "The Music Studio" allows children to learn to write music, using software to record and mix and produce songs.
"Exergaming" is a blending of technology with physical exertion. By combining exercises and video games, they make staying active fun. "The Cadet Room" is for the youngest members that use staff to engage in homework help, play creative games and fun activities- and let’s not forget the rock climbing wall!
With the merger and the revamped Club, the Boys and Girls Clubs are poised to offer GREAT Futures to local children and teens. If you’d like to help donate your time, talent or treasure to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Northwest Indiana, go to www.BGCGreaterNWI.org. Please contact Buffy Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a tour today.