Special day encourages spending time with youth

Special day encourages spending time with youth

Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:02 pm

Boys & Giris Clubs of Northwest Tennessee is teeing up to celebrate “Boys & Girls Clubs Day for Kids” (BGC Day for Kids), an annual event highlighting the value of meaningful time between caring adults and children. This year’s theme is Pledge to Play and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is asking adults to spend meaningful time with a young person by engaging in active play. In Union City, BGC Day for Kids will be celebrated with many parents and children participating in an event at 1015 College St.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee is one of hundreds of Day for Kids events planned nationwide, with all events are open to the public. The event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be several activities such as games, contests, arts and crafts for everyone to enjoy. Lunch will also be provided.
For more information, contact Tracy Boucher at 885-0883.
BGC Day for Kids Pledge to Play aligns with Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee’s overall initiative to help young people make healthy lifestyle choices — ultimately establishing a sound foundation for success now and later. Play is great for young people and fosters creativity, imagination exploration and helps to develop and master various skills. Adults can take the Day for Kids pledge by visiting dayforkids.org.
While many Americans recognize the link between spending meaningful time with their children and the tough issues facing young people, they say they don’t have the time, skills or resources to do as much for their children as they feel they should. Through Day for Kids, BGCA is encouraging every American to play a part in ensuring a brighter future for our young people by getting involved and becoming more engaged in a young person’s life.
“Boys & Girls Clubs Day for Kids is set aside to foster stronger relationships between adults and children by educating them of the importance of spending meaningful time together,” says Ms. Boucher, club director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee-Union City. “BGC Day for Kids will hopefully help facilitate open communication again between parents, mentors and children that will reenergize the community about helping our young people reach their full potential — not just today, but all year long.”
It’s no secret that America’s youth need our help; less positive, meaningful time spent with caring adults can have devastating effects on children and teens. Consider these statistics:
• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than one-third of high school youth meet the recommended levels of physical activity.
• The average high school graduation rate is 68.8 percent.
• Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy noted that 15-19 year-olds account for more than 20 percent of violent crimes in the United States; in 2005, 9.9 percent of youth aged 12-17 were current illicit drug users.
From academic failure and gang activity to poverty, drugs and violence, they face a daunting array of problems — with serious consequences and fewer safety nets at home and in the community. BGC Day for Kids is one small step in rebuilding “villages” in our neighborhoods; providing young people with the skills and motivation they need to BE GREAT, while protecting them from the dangerous problems they face every day.
Regardless of background, there are no boundaries to the potential of every child. In the same way, there are no limits to the many ways in which to spend meaningful time with a young person. To assist parents, practitioners and other caring adults, BGCA has created engaging educational resources to help them encourage and develop positive relationships with children.
A year-round website, www.dayforkids.org, provides tools, resources and tips that support their interactions with young people. The site also features a Day for Kids Pledge where adults can re-affirm their commitment to helping change a child’s life.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America leads the national campaign with support from several non-profit partners, including America’s Promise, Association of Children’s Museums, Association for Library Services to Children, Communities in Schools, Easter Seats, Kids Sports Network, National AfterSchool Association, National Wildlife Federation, Save the Children, The Home Safety Council and Youth Service America.
Located at 1015 College St., Boys & Girls clubs of Northwest Tennessee-Union City provides program opportunities for boys and girls each year. The Club is open 3-6:30 p.m. for youth ages 6-12 and 7-10 p.m. for teens. Youngsters interested in joining the club, learning more about BGC Day for Kids or other youth programs can contact Ms. Boucher at 885-0883 or visit www.bgcnwt.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has enabled young people, especially those who need clubs most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls clubs serve more than 4 million young people through club membership and community outreach. Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff.
Key club programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach.
In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the club saved their lives. The national organization was founded in 1906. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

Published in The Messenger 9.23.10

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