Investing in the Local Boys & Girls Club Helps Kids Avoid Risky Behaviors

The 2019 Data is In!

Investing in the Local Boys & Girls Club Helps Kids Avoid Risky Behaviors

 

Boys & Girls Clubs provide so much, educational and career support, access to healthy snacks and meals; arts, fitness and sports, and right now –live virtual programming as the virtual school day ends, along with online homework help and free tutoring, and a host of online teen programs, including online job skills.  Boys & Girls Clubs give kids a safe, supportive place to go after school and during the summer; and set kids on the path to great futures.  How do they know they are achieving their goals?  In a word, data.

The Boys & Girls Club’s Outcomes Performance Project data sets them apart from other youth-serving agencies.  The Outcomes Performance Project (OPP) is a part of a cutting-edge initiative that collects and analyzes demographic survey data annually, using a blind online survey tool, with the data scrubbed for validity by an outside agency , and which is then returned in the aggregate to the local Clubs.   This data allows Boys & Girls Clubs to improve programs, demonstrate impact and come up with ways to better serve youth. Clubs see firsthand the positive impact they have on kids every day but these results provide an even more in-depth look at how Clubs influence our kids over time, culminating in college acceptance numbers, volunteer rates, as well as the relationships they’ve built at the Club. OPP provides a statistical backbone to the inspirational stories they hear in Boys & Girls Clubs every day.

One of the unique features of this survey is that the teen segment of it includes the exact same questions asked in high schools across the country as part of the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS) so Clubs are able to compare their member’s risky behaviors against youth not in Boys & Girls Clubs.  Most MA Boys & Girls Clubs do not have enough teens taking the survey to be statistically significant, so they aggregate the data from 37 Boys & Girls Clubs across the state.

Through OPP they have found that youth who attend Massachusetts Clubs are out-performing the national and statewide averages when it comes to avoiding drugs and alcohol.  For example, 97% of Club members in Massachusetts abstain from binge drinking compared to 84% of teens nationally. 92% of our Club members in Massachusetts abstain from drinking at all, compared to 66% of teens statewide.  92% of Club members in Massachusetts abstain from using

 

marijuana compared to 76% of youths in Massachusetts, and 90% of Club youth abstain from vaping, compared to 80% statewide.

 

The numbers go even further than that. 92% of Club kids say that they feel safer at the Boys & Girls Club than other places where they spend their free time.  Frequent Club attenders are 66% more likely go to college than kids who attend less frequently, 82% more likely to be excited about science, 47% more likely to eat four or more pieces of fruit per day and 26% more likely to eat three or more vegetables per day.

Surveys like this show the irreplaceable value Boys & Girls Clubs can have on the lives of our kids and teens, whether it’s through homework help, mentors, sports teams, or in just providing the stability they need in their lives.

“We hope that parents, policymakers, and our donors take this data to heart as they consider how to invest in our kids and in the future,” said Ruth Provost, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod.

Surveys are not the only things that tell about the impact of being in a Boys & Girls Club.   Club teens also tell the story.  Peighton Sullivan, a Mashpee High senior who has been a member at the Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod for 6 years, and is their 2020 Youth of the Year, talks about the impact the Club had on her life after there were changes at home: “I had no idea what the Boys and Girls club was (at age 12). Though I had heard of it, and I knew that kids in my class and grade went there every day after school, I never would have thought that one day it would become such an important part of my life… The activities, clubs, and learning opportunities that I found at the club taught me valuable life skills, like improved communication skills, made me a more responsible person, taught me how to mentor kids and help them with their problems. The Club made me a much more capable person than I ever thought I could be. My club experience challenged me to become a better person, and turned an anxious 12 year old girl who was afraid of change, into a capable 17 year old who wants to help kids who were just like her become great people.”

“At the Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod there are 1,089 children and teens who need support, especially through the COVID 19 crisis.   We hope that people will consider making a financial gift to ensure that we can continue to serve them today, and when we are able to reopen.   Please consider investing in Cape Cod kids. Please invest in the future,” added Provost.

People can access the Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod’s COVID 19 Relief Fund online at https://conta.cc/3fb9vrR   or by sending a check to the Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod, PO Box 895, Mashpee, MA 02649. For more information call 508-477-8845 and leave a message.

The Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod opened in 1999 with huge support from the community.   It now serves 1,089 Cape Cod children and teens, ages 6-18, from anywhere on Cape Cod, providing homework assistance, mentoring, tutoring, drug & alcohol resistance programs, STEM programs, character & leadership programs, and classes and clubs in sports, recreation, mathematics, chess, and dozens of other subjects either live or in a virtual space. 27% of their members live on $20,000 a year or less, and 62% below the federal poverty standards for free or reduced lunch.  Affordable programs are vital for them and for their families.   508-477-8845; Website: www.BoysGirlsClubCapeCod.org  ; email: info@BoysGirlsClubCapeCod.org ;   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoysandGirlsClubofCapeCod

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Ruth Provost

Executive Director
Kraft Family Club House

Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod

31 Frank E. Hicks Drive,  P.O. Box 895

Mashpee, MA 02649

508-477-8845
    URGENT! Please give to the
Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod’s

        COVID19 RELIEF FUND

        https://conta.cc/3fb9vrR

Author: Katy Acheson

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