EverTrust and BGCSC Feed Kids in Everett

The EverTrust Foundation awarded the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County (BGCSC) a $25,000 grant to execute both the Kids Café and Healthy Habits Programs in four Clubs in the City of Everett. Through Kids Café, Club youth receive hot snacks and meals daily. The Everett Club provides dinner daily, the Trailside Club provides dinner twice weekly, the South Everett/Mukilteo Club provides breakfast daily, and the Cascade Club provides a heavy, hot snack daily; together the Clubs will provide meals and snacks to 620 youth in 2015.

Healthy Habits is an eight week program in which kids participate in experiential nutrition education. The program relies upon Boys & Girls Clubs of America nutrition education curricula as well as the USDA’s “Serving up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum.” Participating youth experience increased knowledge, evidenced by improved results of a pre- and post-test. Together BGCSC and EverTrust are improving the lives of families in Snohomish County.

The Employee’s Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound Helps Kids Get Around

ECF6 Thank YouEVERETT, February 25, 2014. The Employee’s Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound recently awarded BGCSC a grant of $40,000 to provide vans for the South Everett/ Mukilteo and Everett Clubs. The Everett and South Everett/Mukilteo Clubs each have one van that is used to pick up kids after school and bring them to the Clubs. Both Clubs must make multiple trips per afternoon, and some kids had to wait at school for extended amounts of time until the van was able to pick them up. During the school year, having an additional van will ensure all kids are picked up in a timely manner and are able to spend more time at the Club, not waiting for transportation. The South Everett/Mukilteo Club will utilize the additional van for their growing teen initiative, providing more space to transport teens in need of a fun safe space to be in the evenings.

Additionally, both Clubs provide affordable summer day camps, which rely heavily on transportation for outings. The Clubs have seen increases in their camp numbers over the past couple of years, and have had to borrow vans from other Clubs or rent from other local non-profits in order to meet the demand. The new vans will allow the Clubs to increase the number of kids who can enroll in their summer camp program. With vans the Clubs will be able to take field trips to fun locations including the Woodland Park Zoo, Jetty Island, and various museums. These activities provide a rich summer experience for kids, many of whom are from low income families, and would not otherwise be able to have such a range of opportunities. A heartfelt thank you to The Employee’s Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound.

SE Everett/Mukilteo Kids Learn How to Make Healthy Meals with Hands-on Instruction

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In October a group of kids at the South Everett Boys & Girls Club learned some very valuable lessons about good eating habits, based on the federal government’s My Plate national suggestions. Over a series of classes the kids learned how to identify everyday foods and group them into the following categories: fruits, grains, dairy, vegetables, and protein. They discovered the proper mealtime portions of each food group and they learned how to prepare a healthy plate. The final class project was to cook a dinner for the whole Club on November 1st.  The series was taught by Derick Eldridge who grew up with a large family, and is used to cooking for a crowd. Read more

S. Everett/Mukilteo Volunteer: Tyrone McMorris

Tyrone McMorris is a staple at the South Everett/Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club; he has seen kids grow from rambunctious 6 year-olds into their teens. A community advocate and leader, Tyrone started working with kids on Casino Road before the Club even opened in 2000. Club Unit Director, Jake Marsh noted that he “has always been a huge part of the South Everett/Mukilteo Club and the Casino Road community”. As a young adult out of college, he spent three years interning with Seattle Metro Youth For Christ in the cabana of an apartment complex behind the current Club. Every day, bringing his own supplies, snacks and school materials he would help kids with their homework and connect with them, giving them a positive role model to look up to. Now, thirteen years later, kids still respect him as their positive role model and it is obvious how much they enjoy having ‘Mr. Tyrone’ at the Club.

Tyrone McMorrisTyrone now runs Casino Road Kids Ministries serving  children, 5-11 years old and partnering with other organizations serving kids in the area. After he finished his internship, he worked at the South Everett/Mukilteo Club for a year and shortly after started his own youth outreach program, Casino Road Kids Ministries (CRM) in May 2008 where he promotes education for youth in the Casino Road area. Tyrone partners with local youth organizations on Casino Road such as the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, and the local South Everett Foursquare Church. Sharing an office with Hand In Hand, Tyrone and CRM has had a profound impact on kids in the area. Still focusing mainly on homework help at Horizon Elementary, Tyrone makes time to come to the Club and hang out with the kids, playing foursquare or rapping with the kids. He is currently active in helping Club leaders: Jake Marsh and Randi Kure develop a thriving teen program. Seeing the need for a safe and positive place for teens on Casino Road to hang out, the Club with Tyrone’s help has started a Thursday Teen Night.

Tyrone McMorris

Tyrone has brought together community members to support the Club, he organized multiple work parties improving the Club facility including the Arts & Crafts room and providing freezers for the Club kitchen. Coming from outside the area, many people think “it is a road full of casinos” or they hear the bad rap the area has and avoid it, but Tyrone encourages others to volunteer here saying, “You need to be involved with the Boys & Girls Club because they’re working with some great kids. You will make a lasting impression in these kids’ lives and will impact how they do in school, their home life; you will make them feel valued.” He notes that it is challenging breaking down the negative barriers surrounding the area. “[The] negative stigma builds up this wall to keep people from really seeing the value and the worth that are in these kids.” Tyrone actively works with kids and community members to overcome this negative image. Having worked with the families, he attests to their generosity and kindness; he sees the respect the kids have for him and other community members and takes pride in their growth. “Even in the midst of those challenges, you hear these kids laughing, smiling, having a good time, they’re just thankful they have a place to go to just be kids.”

Tyrone’s passion and energy for helping kids runs deep, he spent time during his college years volunteering at the Edmonds Club and has continued working at the Club in some capacity since. “My goal in life is to help kids see the potential they have in them, to be that encouragement to keep bumping them towards their dreams, in  a direction where they can be life-changers; where they can be world changers.”

Find out how you too can help kids in the community by visiting our Get Involved page.

Tyrone McMorris

Making STEM fun through FLL’s LEGO Robotics

LEGO RoboticsSTEM related subjects have garnered significantly more attention from education advocates and after school advocates. According to an article, Recognizing afterschool STEM’s impact by Anita Krishnamurthi, “the after-school community has a vital role, and can make a crucial difference in promoting science, technology, engineering and math or STEM, learning.” By learning about STEM related subject in school and after school youth will have a better understanding of these growing fields. After-school programs, with the help of STEM companies and universities give students a hands-on experience to the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.

At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, we have been opening more doors to these partnerships with STEM companies and professionals in the field in order to broaden the horizons of students and give them a glimpse of the future of a STEM career. By partnering with First LEGO® League, STEM professionals, working at local organizations like Boeing, expose students to new things by mentoring and encouraging them in STEM subjects through programs like First LEGO® League LEGO® Robotics. This program teaches kids math, science and technology through an applied learning experience and a fun competition.

LEGO RoboticsThe First LEGO® League (FLL) was designed to show kids how exciting science, technology and engineering can be as a career. The program gives youth a chance to take what they learn in a classroom setting and apply it through research, critical thinking and creativity. Ultimately FLL gives youth exposure to different areas of STEM, introducing them to new career opportunities that they might not have ever known about.

The FLL program includes a Challenge Project that teams compete in once a year with the help of at least one mentor/coach. The Challenge Project, given out in fall is comprised of three components, a Robot Game, Project and FLL Core Values. By the end of the year local teams come together for the local competition, with the winning team moving on to higher competitions.

LEGO RoboticsThe Robot Game allows teams to build and program an autonomous (without a remote control) LEGO® MINDSTORM® robot which can earn points by performing mission tasks such as navigating, capturing and transporting objects on a printed map called The Field.

The Project gives teams the chance to use their creativity to design a solution, or modify an existing solution, to a real-world problem. Past Projects have focused on nanotechnology and transportation.

LEGO RoboticsThe FLL Core Values promote team building behavior and cooperation between teams. During the competition, judges room the room and evaluate teams on the 8 core values. These values encourage team members to maintain a cooperative and team attitude which translates into daily life. Essentially the Robot Game and Project are what teams do whereas the FLL Core Values are how they do it.

Snohomish County Clubs, Alderwood Boys & Girls Club and Snohomish Boys & Girls Club have competed the last couple of years in the local LEGO® Robotics competition. Thanks to funding from the Nysether Family Foundation, these LEGO® Robotics Teams are growing quickly in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County.

LEGO RoboticsAt a competition held at the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club during Spring Break, new teams from the South Everett/Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club and Bargreen Lake Stevens Boys & Girls Club participated for the first time while the Marysville Boys & Girls Club observed the competition in hopes of developing a team in the near future. The competition theme was soccer and teams had to develop robots that could make goals. With strong FLL Core Values and competence of the project, the Snohomish Boys & Girls Club won first place.

With the help of coaches like Snohomish Boys & Girls Club coach, Tom Newton, an employee from Boeing and experienced FLL coach, team members learn how to research and develop their own innovative ideas.

The upcoming competition, Nature’s Fury will begin in September and will focus on finding solutions when a natural disaster strikes.

LEGO Robotics