Boys and Girls Clubs Term Paper

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[. . .] 7%) and their rate of eclampsia was over twice as high as the overall rate (0.3%).

The CDC also documents that infants of mothers aged ten through fourteen:

Were more likely to be born preterm -- before thirty-seven weeks gestation -- (21.3%) than the overall rate of 10.3% and their rate was thirty-three percent higher than the rate for infants of mothers aged forty five and older (sixteen percent), the next highest risk group.

Were more likely to be born very preterm -- before thirty-two weeks gestation -- (5.3%), a rate more than triple the overall rate of 1.6% and over twice the rate experienced by mothers aged forty five and older (2.6%).

Were more likely to be born with low birth weight. Their rate of low birth weight for single births (12.6%) was the highest for any age group. It was more than twice the overall rate of 6.1% and twenty-seven percent higher than the rate for mothers aged forty five and older (9.9%).

Were more than three times as likely to die during their first year (15.4 per 1000) than the overall rate of 6.1 per 1000 and at a rate that was two to three times higher than that for infants of mothers aged twenty to forty four years.

2.0 Programs to Combat Juvenile Problems in Society

"During these all important bridge years between childhood and adulthood, kids really do need something constructive to do, and they also still need to have their activities supervised. Most of all, they need to know that their parents care about them, are involved in their lives, and have their best interests at heart."

Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Children's Aid Society are organizations that each offer their own unique contribution to help juveniles have the opportunity to enjoy an easier transition from childhood to adulthood.

2.1 Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Boys and Girls Clubs of America is a Federally chartered, national organization that comprises a network of more than 3,300 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 3.6 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," Clubs provide guidance-oriented programs on a daily basis for children six to eighteen years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key programs emphasize character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, and sports, fitness and recreation. National headquarters is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Boys and Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with several women in Hartford, Connecticut go together to give boys roaming the street a more positive alternative. In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with fifty-three member organizations. Later, on 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America. In 1956, Boys Clubs of America received a United States Congressional Charter. To recognize the fact that girls had become a part of our cause, the national organization's name was changed to Boys and Girls Clubs of America in 1990.

The Boys and Girls Club provides support to young people that is significant but different from what they get elsewhere -- at home, in school, in church, in other private agencies or in public recreation. Trained youth development staff helps boys and girls make appropriate choices in their physical, educational, personal, social, emotional, vocational and spiritual lives. Most importantly, the Boys and Girls Club shows youngsters that someone cares and wants them to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

2.2 Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters, founded in 1904, is the oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the United States. In 2003, the organization served more than 220,000 youths, ages six through eighteen, in 5,000 communities across the country in one-to-one relationships. In 2003, Forbes placed Big Brothers Big Sisters on its Gold-Star list of the top ten charities for its excellence in efficiency and effectiveness. The national headquarters is located in Philadelphia, PA.

As part of community-based programs, volunteers provide children with one-on-one time and attention in their communities, typically two to four times a month. During these unstructured outings they cultivate relationships that provide children with skills to manage every day challenges. Big Brothers Big Sisters also offers a school program where volunteers provide children with one-on-one time and attention in their schools, typically once a week during the academic year. Teachers identify children who can benefit most from interaction with a caring adult.

2.3 Children's Aid Society

The Children's Aid Society, founded in 1853, serves more than 150,000 children and their families each year, often helping them overcome tremendous odds. Its network of more than 100 cutting-edge programs and services provided at over thirty sites in and around New York City supplies a full spectrum of support. The Children's Aid Society's nationally recognized programs are models of social service practice and have impacted national child welfare policy.

A sample of the services provided by the Children's Aid Society includes:

Community Schools - National winner of the "Peter Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation," a partnership with the Board of Education in schools that combine academics with full health and social services and are open up to fifteen hours a day, six days a week, all year.

Health Services -- A network of health, mental health, eye care and dental clinics, which tally nearly 50,000 appointments for children each year, includes "Big Blue," a mobile dental van that brings dental care direct to thousands of children in the poorest parts of the city.

Mentoring Programs - Among them: a corporate tutoring program for preteens at risk of drop-out, and a partnership with the black and Latino bar associations that matches minority boys and girls with lawyers and judges; both programs have an over-ninety percent 'stay in school" rate.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention - A holistic approach that combines sexuality education with a full youth development program, based on the philosophy that education and jobs create the opportunity for a better future.

Homeless Services - Transitional housing for homeless families with children that has found permanent housing for more families, more quickly, than any other city agency.

Renewal Projects - A block-wide project on West 118th Street in New York Citythat rebuilds lives by helping to rehabilitate buildings and connecting needy families to the Children's Aid Society and government-provided services.

3.0 Success of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Millions have benefited from belonging to a Boys and Girls Club since the first Club opened its doors in 1860. Based on research by Louis Harris & Associates, prior Club alumni have very strong feelings about their individual Club experiences as evidenced by the following findings:

Eighty percent said Club staff helped them learn right from wrong,

Ninety-five percent indicated the Club was the best thing available in their community,

Fifty-two percent said participating in the Club "saved my life"

Sixty-five percent stated that the Club was the only place to go after school.

The influence of professional staff at the Clubs was rated very high by former members. Ninety-three percent of respondents said, "the staff members in the Club really care and are dedicated." Specific influences include, "learning right from wrong" (eighty percent), "developing self-confidence" (seventy-nine percent), "learning good leadership skills" (seventy-two percent), and "developing the ability to avoid difficulty with the law" (seventy percent).

Many additional studies document that Boys and Girls Clubs offers more than just promises; it returns results. Ranging from academic performance, improved relations with parents, drug abstinence and more responsible sexual behavior, to name a few, Boys and Girls Clubs have had a large role in filling the void left by diminished social infrastructures. This section discusses several studies offering proof that Boys and Girls Clubs does make a difference.

3.1 Southwest Program Study

A study published by Cynthia P. Carruthers and James A. Busser, Associate Professors in the Leisure Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2000 found positive outcomes for the Boys and Girls Club. Carruthers and Busser evaluated a county-wide Boys and Girls Club serving over 10,000 youth ages seven through eighteen through five established sites in a large city in the Southwest. The study was qualitative and explored the outcomes of youths' involvement and whether there was congruence between the agency's articulated mission statement and goals and the staff members', club members', and parents' perceptions of the agency's impact. Data collection procedures included participant observations at program facilities and twenty-five interviews with program staff, sixty-one interviews with club members, and seventeen interviews with parents.

The results of the study indicated that involvement in the Boys and Girls Club produced three major outcomes:

A nurturing environment,

The acquisition of positive behaviors, and The development of competence and self-esteem.

The nurturing environment of the club provided members feelings of belonging/love, a second home and sense of family, and a safe haven from the violence and negative… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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