Formed in 1991, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County consists of five branches: East Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, Palm City, and Port Salerno.
Each year, we serve more than 3,000 at-risk youth six to 18 years of age with after-school programs, summer program, and community outreach activities. We charge only $35 per year but spend more than $1,800 on programs and services per Member. And we never turn a child away for his or her family’s inability to pay.
To strengthen our organizational capacity, our youth development staff receives ongoing training throughout the year. Staff then utilizes a comprehensive curriculum developed in association with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to which we are affiliated, to help improve grades, increase physical activity, teach resistance skills youth need to avoid drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and provide youth with opportunities for artistic experience, community service, and leadership roles. To more strategically meet the specific needs of Martin County’s teen population, we launched The Club, a program that targets local teens, in 2011. The Club's curriculum, based on the input of more than 850 local teens, emphasizes technology training, community service, career planning, building resistance to risky behaviors, and college tours.
In 2011, we also adopted a Formula for Impact, a five-year road map designed to provide age-appropriate programs so all Members can demonstrate Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. A key component to the Formula for Impact is to prepare every Member to graduate from high school so that he or she is ready for college, trade school, the military, or employment.
Data from a 2011 membership survey demonstrates that we continue to make a positive impact on the youth we serve: 88% of members say their grades improved last year; 76% say they always complete their homework; 81% say they enjoy learning; 91% say they plan to go to college; 92% have learned to use the Internet safely at the Clubs; 98% say they have not smoked cigarettes; 89% say they have never consumed alcohol; 99% say they have never used drugs; and 94% say they have not carried a weapon.
Parents, too, report a positive impact: 98% of parents say their child’s academic performance has improved because of the Clubs; 95% of parents say that as a result of the Club, their child’s self-esteem has improved; 91% of parents say that as a result of attending the Club, their child has developed a positive relationship with an adult staff member or volunteer; and 91% of parents say they would find it difficult to find another after school program as affordable as the Clubs.