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Today's word on

Sunday, April 10, 2005

"Once you have learned how to ask questions, you have learned how to learn."

--Neil Postman, journalism scholar (1931-2003)

USU JCOM NEWS NOTE: THE JCOM Department celebrates the Class of 2005 Friday with JDay, showcasing the best of student work in print and broadcast journalism, the Web, photo, and public relations. Followed by the annual JCOM Awards Banquet--student awards, 2005-06 scholarship winner, speaker Robert Kirby of the Salt Lake Tribune, all with fine dining. For information or reservations, contact the USU JCOM Department at or 435-797-3292.

Boys and Girls Clubs mark 10 years of service and fun for Cache kids

By Ashley Murray

March 3, 2005 | Where do you go club'n in Cache Valley? Many of us are probably guilty of getting our groove on at Club Skyline; whether it's the R&B "One, Two Step" or the country swing two-step. But did you know that there is a club in town which has been attended by Michael Jordan, Neil Diamond, and Brad Pitt? The Boys and Girls "Club" of Cache Valley is part of a national organization that helps youth in our society step it up in life and school.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) first began during 1860 in Hartford, Conn., where several women decided to form a club for young boys to attend. These women believed that there must be a positive alternative to roaming the streets. Little did they know their club would progress to become a nationally known program that would help thousands and thousands of children.

KNOCKIN' 'EM DOWN: Bridger Elementary students bowl during their Boys and Girls Club time together. / Photo by Ashley Murray

It is estimated that over 4 million youth are involved in the BGCA within the United States. The Club also reaches many kids on international and domestic military bases, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Statistics show that 56 percent of the overall membership is male and 44 percent are female. Over half of those enrolled are between the ages of 10 and 15 years old.

With 3,400 clubs registered, it is very easy to locate a group within or near your community.

The Boys and Girls Club of Cache Valley first opened its doors 10 year ago. According to the program director of the Cache Valley Boys and Girls Club, Erica Jarvis, there are 17 clubs that stretch from Preston to Wellsville. The average age of club members are anywhere from 5 to 13 years old.

The beginning of the Cache Valley BGCA mission statement is, "The Boys & Girls Club of Cache Valley is more then a place, it is a "movement" to inspire and enable all young people, to realize their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens."

It BGCA has recognized the increasing number of children left by themselves at home after school. The club offers a safe place to learn, build relationships, hope, and opportunity to succeed in life.

"That's my favorite part," says Kali Hoenes, a Utah State University senior in Parks and Recreation. Hoenes is also a staff member at the Bridger Elementary Boys and Girls Club. "I love seeing them achieve their goals and knowing that I had something to do with it."

Hoenes said that the BGCA has such positive reputation because, since it is a nationally known organization, many adults are already familiar with it and are interested about how it can benefit their children. It is also advertised through the schools.

The Club at Bridger Elementary has a program called "Power Hour" . It is used at all the sites that have kids ages of 6 to 13 years. It is a time were the kids can receive homework help from teachers, tutors, and staff members. Points are rewarded to those who complete their assignments. Prizes are given out weekly and monthly.

After "Power Hour" is finished, club time begins. Each age group of kids are involved with different games such as bowling, gegaball, rhythm sticks, and cultural activities. It's a time to educate but to also allow kids to be kids.

This schedule is similar to the Club at Summit Elementary in Smithfield. The Club starts each day with a snack, follows by homework help and then activities. Lisa Henrie, an Elementary Education major at USU, has been working with the Club at Summit since August. "The Boys and Girls Club offers ways for kids to find ways to express themselves, be individuals, and just have fun," said Henrie.

As mentioned in the introduction, many BGCA alumni have achieved high distinction in their careers of entertainment, sports, business, and politics. But not all alumni are famous. Most have been successful by receiving and education, raising a family, pursuing a career, serving their country and being actively involved in the community.

Research was done by Louis Harris & Associate, found that Club alumni have strong feelings about their experience. Eigthy percent said that the staff helped them learn wrong from right. Ninety-five said the Club was the best activity available in their community. Fifty-two percent said it "saved their life" by participating.

All in all, Boys and Girls Club of America provides a positive place for kids to be. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked the Club number one among youth organizations for the tenth year in a row. In 2001 and 2002, WORTH magazine ranked BGCA to be one of the "100 Best Charities in America." The ranking was based on financial efficiency, program effectiveness and strength or reputation.

No matter what your age, weight, heigth, or maturity level may be, Boys and Girls Club has a place for you. They are always looking for volunteers and youth participants. The BGCA national success and positive impact have been seen in the past and will continue to prove itself in the future one step at a time.

To view more information about Boys and Girls Club of Cache Valley, click on the following links:

June 14, 2004 Herald Journal- Boys and Girls Club receives sizeable grant
June 13, 2002 Herald Journal- Boys and Girls Club enrollment jumps

LISTEN UP: Summit Elementary students prepare for "Power Hour." / Photo by Ashley Murray


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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