Chesterton Tribune

Wow! Fast action on local Boys and Girls Clubs plan

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Voice of the People

 

When I moved into 201 Lincoln, I saw a large church building across the street, the Methodist Activity Center where the sanctuary has been refitted as a ball court. What a wonderful place for a Boys and Girls Club! Then your paper reported that the Methodist were not only going to share the facility with a B&G Club but were going to give it major support for two years! WOW!!

It took our task force in Anacortes, Wash. 23 weekly meetings and lots of work to find a place in the National Guard Building and open a club, now attended by over a hundred youth daily. An even bigger task was raising matching money to win a start up grant of the same amount. With the most generous help from the Methodists and the parent club in Valparaiso, this club will be up and running which will be a great help in fund raising next year. Some support also comes through United Way.

While I had worked with youth in a coffee house, with Volunteers in Probation, and with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, I knew little about B&G Clubs. Maybe your readers would like to know more about them. The following can be found at

www.bgcpoco.org/about.htm

Description: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County is a guidance-based organization for youth ranging from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Programs are designed to provide reinforcement of the skills and concepts that are being developed in school with programs that are age specific. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County offers a broad range of after school programs in five core areas: Character and Leadership Development; Education and Career Develop-ment; Fine Arts; Health and Life Skills; and Sports Fitness, and Recreation.

Annual membership is $15, and financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

The Mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County is to inspire and enable the youth of our communities to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

To accomplish our mission, we practice a set of principles which reinforces:

• A sense of competence - the feeling there is something boys and girls can do well.

• A sense of usefulness - the opportunity for kids to do something of value for other people.

• A sense of belonging - the Club is a setting where kids know they have a place where they “fit” and are accepted.

• A sense of power or influence - a chance for boys and girls to be heard and to influence decisions.

When these principles are fully implemented, the self esteem of boys and girls is enhanced and an environment is created which helps them achieve their full potential.

The Chesterton Club will open on Oct. 2.

The Unit Director will be Don Scheffler, currently a staff member at the Valparaiso Club and a resident of the Duneland community.

In Anacortes besides being a member of the Board of Directors of Boys and Girls Clubs of Skagit County, it was my privilege and pleasure to teach chess at the club for about two hours daily. What a joy to work with youth. I called them my pseudo grandchildren. Now I have the pleasure of being with two of my grandchildren, but hope to continue teaching chess at this club. Come and join in the fun!

Howard R. Christofersen, MD

Porter

 

Posted 9/28/2006

 

 

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