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27Sep

Boys & Girls Club Teen Center Doubles

By Portage County Business Council

This article was provided by the Boys & Girls club of Portage County 

With September in full swing, the Boys & Girls Club’s Teen Center – The Club has reopened for the school year, providing academic support and programming that is relevant, fun, and teen-specific.

The United Way of Portage County funding directly supports the growth and livelihood of the Teen Center and its members.Boys & Girls Club

The Teen Center now serves over 40 teens, ages 7-12th grade and an additional 15 on average at the Homework Center, doubling numbers from September 2015. The Teen Center is located within the new Berard Center at 941 Michigan Avenue. Doors open during afterschool hours, Monday – Thursday from 3-8:00pm and Friday from 3-10:00pm. This time is spent in a variety of ways that help teens grow into well-rounded community leaders and prepare for the great futures ahead of them.

Thanks to a partnership with neighboring PJ Jacob’s Junior High School, teen-aged Club members have access to the Homework Center, where they receive academic support from knowledgeable staff. This resource provides homework help, tutoring in various subjects, and a positive, productive area for teens to complete their school work.

To supplement the Homework Center, the Club itself provides resources and programming for members searching for their first jobs, getting ready for graduation, and preparing for their transition to college. The Club organizes college tours, career fairs, interview coaching, and offers Junior Staff positions where teens are paired with staff members and assist with specific programs and projects.

Beyond academics, the Club – Teen Center offers members a fun, safe environment after school with a range of activities including art, cooking, sports, reading, gaming, and more. Teens and staff have access to a kitchen, rec room, computer lab, free Wi-Fi, and a space to simply be themselves and try new things.

The Club’s staff and volunteers play a large role in both supporting and positively influencing these teens. Volunteers dedicate their time and passion to helping Club members in whatever capacity they can. Jason and Kimberly are just one example of a pair of community members devoted to providing fun and positive experiences to teens. For the past year, they have brought a weekly tradition of Tabletop Throwdown, which shares their passion for tabletop games with teens, teaches them new skills, and shares their value of volunteering and commitment to the local community with teen members.

The Boys & Girls Club offers numerous volunteer opportunities for other members of the community passionate about and dedicated to helping local teens and investing in the future of Portage County. Volunteer opportunities range from short, one-time projects to month-long commitments to specific programs such as the Homework Center or Power Hour. More information and applications for volunteer positions can be found at www.bgclubpc.org/volunteer.

The Boys & Girls Club is a resource for the youth in this community.  The Teen Center welcomes new Club members daily and encourages community members to stop in for a tour. Various other Club sites are located in Stevens Point, Plover, Junction City, Rosholt, and Almond/Bancroft.  Visit the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County’s website and Facebook page to learn more about how your child can become a member for a nominal annual fee of just $10  – www.bgclubpc.org and www.facebook.com/bgclubpc.