Help your kids meet new people, try new things and have fun with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Since 1991, the military services have worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide children between ages of 6 and 18 access to youth centers and clubs around the country. The clubs provide:
- A solid support network that offers a sense of belonging
- Ongoing relationships with caring adults
- A safe and healthy environment to develop lifelong skills
Youth centers on installations worldwide are affiliated with the Boys & Girls Clubs. They offer many of the same programs as traditional clubs and are available to more than 450,000 military children. That means your kids can participate in national events and volunteer on the installation or in the surrounding community.
Families that are off installation can also participate in the fun. Active-duty, National Guard and reserve children can attend a local Boys & Girls Club for free. That means your kids have the same opportunities as on-installation families with the same benefits, and a chance to partake in entertaining, character-building programs.
A typical club has an arts and crafts area, gymnasium, library, game room and multipurpose room. Some clubs have swimming pools, computer learning centers, camps and outdoor play areas, too. All Boys & Girls Clubs are staffed by trained professionals. No matter where military kids participate, the Boys & Girls Clubs offer specific programs just for them:
- Education and career programs help kids develop goals for the future, providing career exploration and unique educational opportunities. These programs include Summer Brain Gain: READ! and the My.Future digital literacy program.
- Character and education programs help kids become responsible, caring citizens and acquire skills to participate in the democratic process and develop leadership skills. These programs include the Million Members, Million Hours of Service program and the Keystone Clubs.
- Health and wellness programs help kids achieve and maintain active lifestyles. Programs like SMART Moves and Passport to Manhood help develop responsibility and healthy relationships.
- The Arts programs help kids enhance self-expression and creativity, develop skills in visual, performing and literary arts, and develop multicultural appreciation.
- Sports and recreation programs help build fitness, interpersonal skills, positive use of leisure time, stress reduction and appreciation for the environment. Kids enjoy golf, baseball and other general fitness programs.
If you are wondering about other unique opportunities through Boys & Girls Clubs, take a look at the Youth of the Year annual event, which highlights outstanding military kids who exemplify academic success, strong character and dedication to service.
How to Participate
All kids of active-duty service members, mobilized and deployed Guard and reserve service members can take advantage of Boys & Girls Clubs programs.
Families living on the installation may visit their local military youth center to participate.
All children of geographically dispersed active-duty members and mobilized and deployed Guard and reserve service member can visit the Boys & Girls Clubs Military Partnership website to search for a club near you.
For more information, call 800-854-CLUB (2582).
This article was written by www.militaryonesource.mil not HelpVet. View original article here.