Boys & Girls Clubs Turn Learning Into Fun

Children aren’t the only ones benefiting from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington’s experience.

Project Learn is also assisting parents and families,” according to Vice President of Development Michael Gonzales. “In these tough times, the demands on a family get harder, so the Club is not only a safe place after school, but a place where they can grow mentally and socially.”

That’s why the Fall 2011 grant for $26,000 from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation was immediately put to good use enhancing the initiative that benefits 1,100 kids daily at five branches and 13 after-school sites in Arlington.

Project Learn is based on research suggesting that children perform better academically when they participate in fun, educational things outside the classroom.  It is a program to bridge knowledge and skills gaps, particularly for at-risk youth, by integrating fun, educational activities throughout Club programs.

All of these activities encourage Arlington students to stay in school and graduate on time, something the Boys & Girls Clubs strive to improve. According to the Texas Education Agency, the Arlington ISD dropout rate for students in grades nine through 12 increased from .07 percent in 2004-05 to 3.2 percent in 2009-10.

This nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping youth develop necessary qualities to become responsible citizens and leaders through five core areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports fitness and recreation.

Programs are built around core beliefs to provide boys and girls “…A safe place to learn and grow…Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals…Life-enhancing programs and character development…The chance to experience hope and opportunity…”

“We help lay a path for a future full of opportunities,” Gonzales said.  “They deserve the chance to make a life that will be great for themselves and their families.”

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