A special visit from Nicole Henry

NicoleThe talented American jazz singer Nicole Henry made a special appearance at the Vickers Boys & Girls Club this month. In efforts to connect with and inspire local youth in the Denver community, Nicole performed several songs on stage with local guitarist Chris Malley. Following their performance, Nicole fielded questions from the kids and shared the story of her own journey to finding professional success. Among the many pieces of life advice that Nicole shared with the kids, she emphasized the importance of becoming a life-long learner and expressing gratitude for all of the opportunities that life has to offer.

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Giving kids a green thumb

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30 percent of communities in Colorado lack access to healthy food retail options and only 1 in 10 children get the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Due to lack of access and tight family budgets, Boys & Girls Club members often fall into the 90% category of kids who lack a well-rounded diet resorting to eating processed foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition.

Knowing this, Boys & Girls Clubs provide ample opportunities to engage youth with the power of gardening during the summer and throughout the year. Giving Club members a chance to grow their own food helps them connect with nutrition on a deeper level. The Club gardening programs also provide kids with fresh produce to bring home to their families to make a healthy meal.

So far, this summer Club members have been having fun playing in the dirt learning how to both build and maintain a garden:

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Building healthy habits

This summer, Club members are learning that there is much more to a healthy lifestyle than maintaining healthy eating and exercise habits.

Our Clubs have been hosting events throughout the summer that provide kids with the opportunity to learn about other areas of health – like oral care, prescription drugs and mental health.

13254856_1182317451807790_4940272087678196533_oShopneck Health Fair: One of the many steps that is required to become an expert in a field of study is to have the ability to teach what you know – that is exactly what 25 Club teens did at the annual Shopneck Boys & Girls Club Health Fair. After studying various topics within the health field, Club teens prepared booth exhibits to showcase their expertise in their field of study. Using posters and demonstrations, the teens became master educators at the Shopneck Health Fair. Over 600 elementary and middle school students from surrounding schools filtered through the booths to learn about tobacco and prescription drugs effects on the body, how to prevent bullying and much more. Health Fair attendees had a great time learning from Boys & Girls Club teens and yet again the Health Fair proved to be both successful and enlightening for everybody involved!

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Summer reading strides

Club member learningDuring the summer, an estimated 43 million children in the U.S. miss out on expanded learning opportunities that could prevent them from falling behind before the next school year begins. More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.

Boy & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver offers several stimulating reading programs to keep kids – and their minds – engaged and active throughout the summer months and helps them continue to make positive academic strides.
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Career Exploration

Club members now have the unique opportunity to explore careers and fields of study through Boys & Girls Club’s newly launched Pathways to Success program. Participating youth get the opportunity to learn from real industry experts and build an applicable skill set for potential future careers.

Thanks to some great business partners, Club members recently explored a wide range of career fields including natural resources, environmental stewardship and the restaurant industry. Continue reading

$70,000 grant from the Dresner Foundation will fund performing arts programs at three Clubs

Performing ArtsBoys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver is pleased to announce it has received a $70,546 grant from the Dresner Foundation. These funds will support program costs for a performing arts program at three Boys & Girls Clubs locations in the metro Denver area. Continue reading