This year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Contra Costa, the community’s leading children’s nonprofit, launched its Program in a Box service for youth in the county.
“Parents have been expressing concerns about the negative impact of distance learning,” said CEO Michael Dunn. “Our solution was to develop a program that requires youth to get hands-on. Our programs have materials delivered weekly to kids’ homes. The kids then complete projects and upload them to a secure website to share with our staff and their friends.”
These program materials allow for local youth to participate in engaging projects covering STEM, art, sports and cooking.
“I spoke to a parent recently who started crying because her daughter has been struggling with distance learning, and our home-delivered program materials provided a much-needed change of pace,” said Keirstan Faulkner, Director of Programs.
Additionally, staff gets on weekly Zoom calls with youth for live engagement and fun. Members also have complete access to videos created by Boys & Girls Club staff members to follow along with the materials in the program boxes.
“This pandemic has been challenging, but we are committed to doing whatever it takes to keep our youth engaged, and having fun,” said Dunn. “We are confident that this program will be very beneficial for our youth and families in Contra Costa County as we continue to work around Distance Learning.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Contra Costa has been serving Contra Costa kids at their Martinez and El Sobrante clubhouses since 1956. Today the organization serves thousands of kids with virtual programming, school supplies and food programs. Before COVID-19, it had served over 250 kids in-person each day at the clubhouse in Martinez and at three school sites throughout West Contra Costa.
For those interested in donating, visit www.bgccontracosta.org/donate.