The Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club recently held their Lights On Afterschool celebration, highlighting the importance of afterschool programs for school-aged children. Programs at the Club are geared toward helping kids develop into productive, responsible, and caring citizens. The Milford Club is aimed at changing the lives of not only the children who attend every day but also their families and the community at large.
In addition to providing daily guidance and mentoring, the Club offers structured programming throughout the year. According to Pat Mann, Childhood Director at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, many of the children the Club serves have improved academic performance and attendance, and are significantly more likely to complete high school and college as a result of Club programs.
“Lights On Afterschool is a celebration of what we offer here at the Boys & Girls Club for local families,” said Mann. “We are an extension of the school, a safe environment to continue their positive learning and social experiences.”
During the event, Club kids shared their experience at the Club and expressed their thoughts on what makes the Club so great. Nine-year-old Crystal has been at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club for 3 years. “The teachers are nice and they always help us with our homework, reading and art,” she said. “I have done better in school since I have been here.”
Opening their doors at 6:30am, the Club staff engages children in mental and physical activities and assists students with homework before they head off to school. Facilitating a Reading Is Fundamental program during the summer, to help curb the learning loss during school break, the Club continues their focus on making sure children are prepared to learn and work with teachers on a daily basis. “When we keep kids reading and focused on education, it impacts our schools in a positive way,” said Van Eyken. “Our kids are ready for school and can keep moving forward towards the ultimate goal of becoming a productive citizen in our community.”
Nine-year-old Ethan has been at the Club for 5 years and states that his teachers help him not only in academics but also in social situations. “The teachers show me that when I am upset, I can calm down, think about what is going on and make a good decision,” he said.
Students return to the Club after school for further instruction where they begin their afternoon with Power Hour, 60 minutes dedicated to homework or other academic learning. Club kids will also enjoy the full size gymnasium, computer lab, the Richard Y. Johnson Aquatic Center and the Can-Do Playground in Tony Silicato Park.
A staple in the Milford community for several decades, the Boys & Girls Club is celebrating their eighth year in their new location off Airport Road. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware serves over 36,000 youth across the state. Every day, thousands of kids head to the Clubs and School Sites after school where they experience the five elements of positive youth development: a safe, positive environment; fun; supportive relationships; opportunities and expectations; and recognition. For every $1 spent with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, $13.91 is generated through positive economic impact in the economy in Delaware.
Businesses and individuals interested in supporting the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club or learning more about their programming can call 302-422-4453 or visit the Club online at www.bgclubs.org
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