The Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club has introduced a new teen program at the Club, aimed at children between the ages of thirteen and nineteen. Dubbed Teen TITAN (Taking Initiative, Teens Acting Now), the program offers local teens a safe atmosphere to interact with other teens on Friday nights from 7 pm to 12am. Just two weeks into the program, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club has seen some success as the number of teens in attendance has already reached ninety.
Although the Milford Boys & Girls Club has recently focused on child care programs before and after school, the national organization continues to concentrate on getting teenagers off the streets and into the Club where Club leaders can help enable them to reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens.
“If you look at the history of the organization, it was founded as the Boys Clubs of America to get teen boys off the street,” commented Director of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club Tod Van Eyken. “We are returning to our historic mission, at this age it is many times the last chance to impact their lives to make sure they become productive adults.”
The Teen TITAN Program was made possible through a $20,000 grant for the Delaware Criminal Justice Council, the State Administering Agency of multiple federal grant programs that aims to enhance the criminal justice system in Delaware. While at the Club teens are engaged in several group activities including basketball, arts and crafts, electronic and board games and the pool. Program Facilitator at the Milford Club Marla Smith believes that this is something not only needed by the Club but the Milford community at large.
“The Teen TITAN Program gives teens a place to have fun, and allows us to develop mentor relationships with many of them,” commented Smith. “It is something that is needed in the community, there is not much to do in this area after school and on weekends.”
As the program continues this Spring, coordinators at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club will be introducing teens to career development and entrepreneurship opportunities through three programs called Positive Outcomes, Keystone Club and Torch Club. Positive Outcomes will discuss emotional challenges for teens such as self- esteem, problem solving and identifying with positive influences. The Keystone and Torch Clubs, both aimed at community service, will help younger and older teens learn about leadership, responsibility and how they can make a difference in their own community. Teen TITAN members will be encouraged to take these lessons and set positive examples for other local teens in the community.
“In today’s society there is so much peer pressure and negative influences including the music and pop culture industries that will effect how they make decisions,” commented Smith. “They need to know that their are positive influences that care about them and can guide their decisions in a positive direction.”
The Teen TITAN program is held at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, located at 101Delaware Veterans Blvd off Airport Road in Milford, every Friday evening between 7pm and 12am. For more information on the program, individuals are encouraged to call the Club at 302-422-4453.