The organization has a lot to celebrate as this year mark’s the 75th year of the club’s existence.
“The Boys & Girls Club has been serving the Douglas County youth for 31 years,” said Doris Isaacs, chair of the Douglas County club’s board of directors, “and is extremely proud to start so many great futures. Under the guidance of our executive director, Steve Hord, our club is a place where we are nurturing and growing the leaders of tomorrow.”
The club engaged youth during the weeklong event, which happened to coincide with spring break in Douglas County Schools, with such activities as recognizing and preventing alcohol abuse, examining and preparing for college and career opportunities, leadership, understanding, brotherhood and scholarship, and a cookout Friday afternoon.
Of course, there was music, games and fun mingled in with leadership development and community service. A number of teenage members of the club spent part of their spring break assisting with chores at The Pantry, where they could be found moving and sorting boxes of food and doing spring cleaning at the local food bank facility.
According to Hord, the club’s program provides an after-school and summer program with activities to build character, integrity and academic excellence for up to 200 children and teens each day.
Hord calls it “creative chaos” in the noisy facility where kids do so much more than play games and shoot hoops.
“It is a safe, healthy place within the park,” said Hord, “for kids who need us the most. That’s where the club fills the void. It’s a home away from home.”
“You don’t know what the club means to them,” he added. “There are a lot of disturbing and challenging things kids are going through. We try to model positive behavior. They need a place to turn and someone to talk to. “You don’t know where you are making a difference.”
Boys & Girls Club’s core is based on academic readiness, a healthy lifestyle and building leadership and character.
“Our emphasis is getting kids prepared for the next level of school,” said Hord. “We give them the tools for success. Our goal is to graduate 90 percent of our kids out of high school.”
And Douglas County is close to doing so at about 80 percent.
“If we get you in the club three days a week, we can get 90 percent of our kids graduated,” Hord said. “We’re excited about what we can do.
“If you get that seed planted young, there are opportunities out there of all shapes and sizes if you apply yourself.”
The club is located on the campus adjacent to Hunter Memorial Park at 8828 Gurley Road in Douglasville.
Information: (770) 577-9824.