We have been asking our Club members what they are thankful for this year. Despite the extraordinary challenges that our kids and families have faced, their answers were heart-warming, full of hope, and definitely had a common theme. Here are just a few examples:
“My family, the Boys & Girls Club and all of my teachers.” – Adamaris, 10 years old
“I’m thankful for Club being open for us during such a hard time.” – Ramiro, 14 years old
“The staff at Club are the best, so I’m just thankful for them.” – Alexis, 11 years old
“Being able to hang out with friends sometimes.” – Braden, 12 years old
Based on these responses, it’s clear that our youth are feeling a sense of appreciation for the simple things in life as they reflect on the past year. They are thankful for human connection and the ability to have a fun, safe place to go that feels like “home”.
A huge part of what makes the Club environment so great is our incredible program staff. These dedicated individuals work hard to continuously develop well-rounded programs that keep our Club members engaged, learning and excited to walk through our doors each and every day. The month of November was no exception as our organization pivoted to accommodate the Fond du Lac School District‘s need to temporarily transition to a fully virtual format. Without hesitation, we made the decision to be open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm and were thrilled to welcome back many youth that we hadn’t been able to see for quite some time.
Throughout this month, we focused heavily on assisting our Club members with their virtual learning needs, ensuring each of them were logging in according to their schedule, connecting with their teachers, and completing their homework assignments on a daily basis.
In addition to being super academic-focused, we also made sure to squeeze in plenty of fun projects and activities along the way. A few exciting highlights from our elementary programs included making slime, drawing fun designs on white facemasks, making pillows, snacking on apples and peanut butter (best snack ever!), launching homemade parachutes and building amazing skyscrapers out of straws. So. Much. FUN!!!
To round out program highlights for November, our Teen Center youth had a “team-building day” with the help and guidance of Mr. Ron from UW Extension, where they competed in some really fun exercises with and against one another. The teens also spent time weaving their own tapestries, making rock candy, and working hard to keep positive vibes in their Club spaces while also sending that positivity out into the world. They decorated the Club windows with inspiring messages and even wrote letters of encouragement to a boy named Kaine who has been diagnosed with leukemia.
We could not be more proud of ALL of our youth as they continue to navigate an extremely difficult year. And because of the support of our incredible community, the Boys & Girls Club has been here to provide the seemingly simple things that mean everything to kids and families in need. Because YOU have been here for us, WE have been here for them. This Thanksgiving and ALWAYS, we are thankful for you.