This Club Saved My Life!
Evidence That Our Club’s After-School Programs Are Relevant And DO Impact Our Kids’ Lives
Since there is some recent national discussion about the relevance of after school and nutrition programs, we thought this summary of our own programs could present some factual, rational context to what has become a highly emotional issue.
While the Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club (GSGBC) is not funded through the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants in question, the fundamental question of the value of after-school programs in the lives of our kids remains.
Seventy-five percent of the 660 kids we serve annually come from single parent households in neighborhoods with high rates of crime, violence, dropouts, and food insecurity.
Food insecurity has been shown to lead to many negative consequences such as academic success, attention and behavioral problems, low test scores, absenteeism, and lack of focus.
Research demonstrates that children who live in single parent households are more likely to be food insecure. This is an ongoing concern and one of the reasons we participate in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program. The Club continues, as it has since 1929, to provide a safe and structured environment that empowers kids to reach their potential.
Our Club fosters the development of the whole child through academic, social, nutrition, and athletic programs. Every day after school, our kids participate in mandatory academic programs that prepare them with the skills they need to succeed in school, go to college, and thrive in the workforce.
Our kids complete their homework every single day that they come to the Club, which our staff track meticulously. For children not reading at grade level, a significant predictor of long-term success, GSGBC staff provide intensive literacy interventions provided by Missouri Certified Teachers – kids improve their reading by an average of 1.5 grades in less than three months.
This past year, the boys and girls at the Club achieved the following outcomes:
- 95% of our youth advanced to the next grade
- 94% of parents reported that our programming had a positive effect on their child’s grades
- 97% of our members did not drink, smoke, or do drugs
- 25,641 nutritious meals served in 2016 – More than 110 meals per day!
- 100% of our more than 50 Jr. Staff Members have graduated high school in the last eight years. If kids stay engaged at the Club through high school, they WILL graduate.
And these are just a few of the outcomes our kids achieve on a daily basis! Many of our alumni were (and are) the first in their family to go to college. Club alumni over the past 88 years include doctors, lawyers, accountants, firefighters, members of the clergy, police officers, teachers, engineers and more.
Some might suggest that these people would have achieved this without the Club. Numerous GSGBC alumni, including the late Gene Slay, testify that they know the potential pitfalls they faced based on the neighborhoods where they grew up and that the Club kept them on the right path. An alumnus recently stopped by the Club just to tell us that he believes that, “This Club saved my life.”
Our kids, parents, alumni, volunteers, and staff know the impact that our programs make on our community each and every day