The Everett Clinic Foundation donates $20,000 to help fund Kids Cafe

Kids Cafe-Tulalip Club GirlsThank You Everett Clinic Foundation for Supporting Kids Cafe

Last year BGCSC provided 313,306 hot snacks and meals to youth in Snohomish County. In addition to feeding kids healthy, filling, and fresh food, Kids Café snacks and meals are served family-style. Kids, staff, and volunteers sit down and eat together, providing time for friendships and mentorships to develop.

Staff and other Club members’ model healthy eating habits and appropriate mealtime behaviors for younger kids. As Club staff provide a positive adult presence in the lives of Club members, this time to develop relationships is an important element of the Club experience, as it allows staff to get to know the kids and therefore notice changes in a child’s behavior which may signal trouble at home or school. Kids Café often serves as an outreach program for other BGCSC programs. Initially some kids come into the Clubs for food and after developing bonds with Club staff and youth, choose to stay for homework help, athletic and recreational programming, or a variety of enriching programs.

For more information on the Everett Clinic Foundation visit their website

 

The Nysether Family Foundation donates $7,500 to support SMART Girls programming at BGCSC

Emma 1The Nysether Family Foundation has donated $7,500 to help support the SMART Girls program at the Clubs. The program fits in with the Nysether Family Foundation’s focus on improving the quality of life for youth. In order to make a positive impact on young women in Snohomish County, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County offer the SMART (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) Girls program. This program empowers girls to make healthy decisions regarding sex and relationships and encourages them to develop and work toward school and career goals. The long-term goal of SMART Girls is to help participants acquire and maintain lifelong attributes of a positive self-concept and good decision making skills regarding personal safety, relationships, and healthy lifestyles.

SMART Girls, a curriculum-based program, is currently offered in 13 Clubs and school-based sites. Last year 284 girls participated in the program; representing a 42% increase from the year before. Each Club runs their own program, choosing activities and seeking involvement of female role models meeting the unique needs of each community.

SMART Girls operates throughout the school year, meeting weekly for group sessions to talk about girls’ issues, once a month the meeting is a workshop, field trip, or other event. Activities include life skills workshops, sexuality workshops, nutrition and fitness workshops, healthcare system workshops, mentoring workshops, computer assisted instruction, SMART Girls Speakers, SMART Girls field trips, team building activities, and recognition events. Clubs recruit SMART Girls participants throughout the year and all girls aged 9-18 are eligible to participate.

In 2013 the girls were able to participate in many activities to help them focus on good choices and positive futures. One highlight was a three day aerospace training program at the WATR (Washington Aerospace Training and Research) Center. Girls were able to learn about aerospace, engineering, and electrical principles and participate in hands-on learning. This year participants cut their names onto large metal pieces using tools and materials designed for use in airplanes.

The EverTrust Foundation donates $25,000 for Kids Cafe and Healthy Habits Nutrition Education

The EverTrust Foundation Kid's Cafehas donated $25,000 for Kids Café and Healthy Habits Nutrition Education at the four Everett Clubs. The foundation focuses on critical needs in the city of Everett, and has been a longtime supporter of BGCSC and Kids Café.  The EverTrust Foundation funded BGCSC last year, and the additional funds will continue the program again in 2014.

864 kids in the Everett School District are homeless.  Additionally, 52% of the kids the four Everett Clubs serve receive free and reduced price meals at schools, many must wait until breakfast is served at school to eat in the morning, and some do not have a consistent, healthy source of food after school lunch. BGCSC has responded by implementing Kids Café, a supplemental snack and meal program. To increase the impact of the program, BGCSC introduced the Healthy Habits Nutrition Education to the Kids Café Program in 2012. The additional educational sessions have helped youth to learn about healthy meal planning and have helped them to put together healthy, filling meals and snacks themselves.

Kids Café at BGCSC differs from other food distribution programs in that meals are served family-style; kids and staff sit down and eat together. This allows friendships and mentorships to develop as well as allows for Club staff and older youth to model healthy eating habits for the younger kids. Also, Kids Café is an outreach program in that some youth initially come to the Clubs for the food and after developing bonds with Club youth and staff, participate in the full range of programmatic offerings. The addition of Healthy Habits to Kids Café makes it a unique program in the City of Everett. Kids are able to learn about healthy food and meal planning while eating healthful food.  In addition to providing food, the Clubs run a weekly program to help understand about My Plate and  menu planning. In two of the Everett Clubs the staff/chefs teach cooking classes to the kids.

BGCSC works with other organizations in the City of Everett to extend the reach of the program. The Cascade Club receives food donations from Northwest Harvest which helps to offset food costs to that Club. The Everett Housing Authority (EHA) has an agreement with the Everett Club in which the EHA covers the membership cost of kids living in EHA so that more BGCSC money is available to cover the cost of membership for other low income children. Finally, the Everett Clubs maintain agreements with the Everett School District to provide lunches over the summer for youth. This means that those youth who rely upon school lunches are able to eat consistently while school is not in session.

Thank you EverTrust for your support and for teaching kids healthy habits effecting their quality of life far into the future.