Academic success is priority at Boys & Girls Clubs
On an average weekday afternoon, more than 500 youth from Sonoma Valley schools make their way to the Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley. These members come through our doors every day seeking a safe, fun, caring environment, one filled with structured activities that feed the mind, body, and soul.
With priority outcomes focused on academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles, the club provides a well-rounded experience aimed at creating opportunities for youth to learn and succeed.
There is no better way to open the doors of opportunity than through education, so providing academic support on a daily basis continues to be a top priority for the club.
Every day, at each of our five locations, all club members split up by grade and sit down for Power Hour. This program is designed to increase homework completion rates
and increase literacy aptitude.
With our younger members, it instills valuable study skill habits and helps keep them engaged with school.
With our older members, it becomes their opportunity to excel academically with an eye toward their future.
The club gets quiet (in relative terms, of course) for Power Hour, and the kids get the help they need to work on and complete their homework, as well as time to be read to or to read themselves. The literacy component ties directly into the school district’s goal of having all third graders reading at a proficient level.
There is more that can be done in this regard, and the programs committee at the club is now working on how to best integrate our after-school efforts with the additional literacy programs being offered during the school day.
For our teens, academic support means regular tutoring nights at the club in math, science and whatever else our teen members need help with. Leading the way has been an incredible volunteer, Tammy Rivara (also a math teacher at SVHS), who is a magnet for her math students and they happily come to the club knowing she will be there to help.
The club also hosts pre-finals study weeks in which high school members get subject-specific tutoring in all areas as they prep for finals.
Recent news of the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend’s support of the Club through the Fund-A-Need at the auction was celebrated and most welcome.
At that event, Raquel, one of our club members who is a senior, spoke beautifully about what the club means to her and how she views it like a home and a family, and a place for her to do her schoolwork and get the help she needs.
The many individuals who generously contributed to that effort at the auction, and the approximately $115,000 the club will receive as a result, understand the importance of supporting the club’s drive toward helping our youth achieve academic success.
We are grateful to the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend board of directors for having selected the club as one of the beneficiaries – it is exactly this type of support that makes our work with so many Valley youth possible.
With an annual budget of $1.7 million, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley serve nearly 2,200 members, with a strong emphasis on efficiency as an organization and mission-driven effectiveness.
The secret sauce, where the magic happens, is really not a secret at all. It emanates from the relationships the kids have with our caring and professional staff, and our tireless volunteers.
The club strives to be a part of the solution to the myriad of challenges faced by the Valley’s students. Helping them achieve academic success connects directly to all other successful aspects of their lives now, and as they
grow toward becoming productive adults in our community.
To find out how you can get involved check out our website at bgcsonoma.org.
• • •
David Pier is CEO of The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley.