It’s no secret that we strive to offer high quality support to our youth and their families even through the most challenging times. We are here to prepare kids and teens for lifelong success, and we will continue to do whatever it takes to build great futures by providing a multitude of positive experiences and opportunities for all young people. That said, here’s what we’ve been up to as we wrapped up the 2019-20 school year!
Elementary Program Wrap-Up
From March 16 – May 29, 2020, our Boys & Girls Club provided virtual programming for the families we have served throughout the 2019-20 school year. Programs included high-yield activities such as Art, Club Tech, Daily Challenge, STEM and more! Each week members of both the Elementary and Teen program could find new programs they could do with their families.
The virtual Google site provided information and resources to parents and families about the Fond du Lac School District lunch program (our Club staff distributed over 34,000 meals), how to manage finances during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fond du Lac County food resources, and other necessary information.
Here are a few elementary highlights from this past month…
Miss Samantha did a Yoga Virtual Family Engagement Night for the elementary parents and kids. It was a short five minute video to take some time to relax. She joined along with doing yoga to show families a little break is good. During this time, we need to make sure we are still taking care of ourselves every day. Yoga is an easy but strategic way to take your mind off of things that are causing stress. It has many different benefits for our bodies, such as building strength, teaching good breathing, helping calm the body, supporting your overall health and much more. Just remember to keep taking care of your body every day, even a short five minutes will help!
During our time apart, students still had the chance to log in to our STRIDE Academy online program, where they were given the opportunity to win a free pizza from the Club and other prizes such as extra coins and student shoutouts! Students had to reach the required 50 questions answered weekly to receive the prizes. We had a great number of students still logging in to the program with 30 regular users weekly and 4 students winning a pizza. Pizza winners were from our Chegwin, Parkside and Pier school sites!
Teen Program Recap/Wrap-Up
What a year it was! For some, the school year may have been somber because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but for our teen program, there is so much positive that came out of this school year. We were gifted a new GaGa Ball pit (courtesy of our good friends at BCI Burke!) where we would play on fall evenings until the sun went down. We also received new pool tables and another air hockey table for the Teen Center. We taught our female Club members about empowering and supporting each other in our Girls Group program with ASTOP (graciously funded by the Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund). We opened up the Club on Saturday nights, in partnership with the YMCA, and held “Middle School Nights”. There were Keystone Club fundraisers that we held in to raise money for important causes both within our Club and around the Fond du Lac community. We offered art activities galore for teens to participate in, such as our ever-so-popular Imagemakers photography contest (funded in part by the U.S. Bank Foundation). We toured businesses in Fond du Lac, attended “Dream Big” activities with MPTC and helped many of our teens take part in our Career Launch programs. We also created a new athletic opportunity for our teens by starting our own volleyball team courtesy of the Buffalo Wild Wings All Stars grant program. Our Club members’ commitment and passion for playing volleyball even led to us create our own volleyball league with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley!
These are just a few of the many things that we will remember from the 2019-20 school year; but most importantly, we will remember all the smiling faces we saw enter our building every single day. FUN FACT: Our Teen Center saw an average of 90 teens per day during this year’s afterschool program. Some days we even saw well over 100 teens walk through our doors to participate in our program… INCREDIBLE! We strongly believe our teen program has become increasingly popular due largely in part to the many great staff members we have, who gave their all every day and were able to connect and build great relationships with many different teens throughout the year.
In addition to having great overall attendance, many of the Teen Center Club members who attended this year were in grades 9-12. These Club members have helped serve as role models and leaders for the younger Club members we serve. Most attended every day and their presence helped set the positive tone we strive to have in our Teen Center. We hope to continue to see these older teens attend so we can remind them that even as they get older, there will still be just as many opportunities here for them. A majority of these older Club members also stuck with us during our COVID-19 shutdown, interacting with us for every virtual activity and Zoom meeting we held to stay connected.
So, although the school year program was cut short due to the pandemic, there is so much to reflect on that makes us hopeful and excited for the future of our program. We’re hopeful that we’ll continue to see the same faces we saw this year attend our 2020-21 school year program, and would love to see many new faces as well. We’re confident that we’ll see many of our older Club members continue to grow and take on leadership roles within our Teen Center community. And we’re hopeful to provide many of the same awesome opportunities we provided this past year again this upcoming school year. We can’t wait to see you all again!