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Spring Break Legoland

April 11th, 2014

Lego education provides kids with fun and engaging math and science lessons. Currently, our Club members have learned about simple machines with our Legos. Members had to predict what type of car would go down an incline plane the furthest.  Then, we tested our results by building the cars in the gym and taking measurements. We recorded our data after each run by measuring the distance in inches. We are having a great time learning during spring break!

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March Reading Month Winners!

March 30th, 2014

March was National Reading Month, and the Clubs celebrated it by doing March (Reading) Madness! The Club members who read the most or wrote the most book reports were treated to a special field trip. It started at Barnes & Noble in the Woodland Mall where the members were able to spend $25 each! The Barnes & Noble staff were also kind enough to treat the members to cookies after their shopping spree. Lastly, we ended the trip with dinner at Red Robin. Thank you to Red Robin for the 25% off discount. Congratulations to all our fabulous readers! Click here to see photos of our adventrue!

 

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March's Youth of the Month!

March 22nd, 2014

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to February's Youth of the Month Winners:

Seidman Club: Asiayonna
Why Staff Selected Asiayonna: Asiayonna is always a big helper and positive role model. We are proud to award her Youth of the Month!

 


 

Paul I. Phillips Club: Brittany
Why Staff Selected Brittany: Brittany has an amazing personality and always welcomes everyone with a smile. She's kind and helpful with the younger kids. She has shown an interest in teaching the girls dance and is very firm on including others. She fun to be around and we are happy she chooses to hang out here!

Steil Club: Ana
Why Staff Selected Ana: We chose Ana for YOM because she is a member who is very involved around the Club. She can be seen regularly doing her homework in the Learning Center and helping others with their homework. She also participates in our cooking program.  Ana also is a faithful member of the performing arts program, she plays the guitar in our music concerts.  Not only is Ana involved in our programs she will soon begin volunteering around the Club through our career program, Career Launch. Ana's participation reflects the level of involvement want for all our Club Members.

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BGCA's National ImageMakers Photography Contest Results

March 19th, 2014

We would like to announce the top six photographs from each of our three Clubs for the ImageMakers Photography Contest!  We've had six outstanding and generous community members take a moment to select from our best photographs taken over the last few months in each Clubs' Photography Program.  From these selections, the Arts Coordinators will select which of these photographs will proceed to regionals*.

And the top photographs are…. (Click to view)

The BGC Art Dept. would like to issue a big thank you to each of our community judges:
Alicia Kushmaul, Hey Doll Events
Brent Casanova, Square One Design
Christine Emmer, NEAT Studio and Sweaty Wisdom
Janet Knaus, Warner, Norcross & Judd
Maegan Pulley, Heart of West Michigan United Way
Richard App, Richard App Gallery

And of course, our Photography Program could not be possible without instruction from Nika Kusmierz and Taylor Crison, direction from Erin Crison, and funding from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth. Thank you all for your participation and support.

*Selections for the regional ImageMakers will be made by age range and contest category. Up to sixteen photographs total can move on to the regional competition.

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Grand Rapids Juvenile Crime Rates Drop!

March 19th, 2014

In a news conference held on March 18, 2014, OCC, the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Community Research Institute released a Grand Rapids Juvenile Offense Index Report of offenses by 8 – 16 year-olds.

This report provides a baseline and seven-year descriptive trend analysis of juvenile offenses and incidents in Grand Rapids. This report identifies frequency and rates of juvenile crime/delinquency and incidents; it is based on Grand Rapids Police Department Reports: 2006-2012 (inclusive). Data in this report include offenses and incidents recorded by the Grand Rapids Police Department that meet the following criteria: (1) youth who were residents of Grand Rapids; (2) offenses and incidents that occurred within the Grand Rapids city limits; and (3) offenses that occurred during the calendar years 2006-2012.

The Johnson Center and GRPD partnered to create this study, and wanted “data driven” results that our community could use, as well as other communities where they are looking to see how partnerships can provide results in a community.

“We want to ensure our children get the resources and support they need," said Police Chief and BGC Board Member Kevin Belk. “While finances remain tight, programs are critical for success of our children.”

And guess what? Grand Rapids Juvenile crime is DOWN! There has been a more than a 44 percent decline in unique youth arrests and status offenses within Grand Rapids between 2006 and 2012.

See the full report here.

Several important people spoke at the news conference, including two of our Club Members and two of our Board Members:

  • Symphonee Montgomery, President, Mayor’s Youth Council
  • Mayor George K. Heartwell
  • Commissioner Senita Lenear
  • Chief Kevin Belk (BGC Board Member)
  • Terry Jones (BGC Member & 2014 Youth of the Year)
  • Myekwaun Moore (BGC Member)
  • Larry Johnson, GRPS, Assistant Superintendent & Director of Public Safety (BGC Board Member)
  • Dr. William Crawley, Interim Director for The Johnson Center at GVSU
  • Lynn Heemstra, Executive Director, Our Community’s Children



 

 

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Seidman Basketball Shines

March 15th, 2014

Our Seidman Club has always been known for their sports teams. Whether it be football or basketball, our Club Members take pride in their athletics. And this year is no different, except for one very special coach...

Meet Suriya Davenport.

He is President of Tax Connection Worldwide but spends a lot of time with our Seidman Club 8th Grade Basketball Team. Let's get to know more about him...

Q: Why do you coach our team and how long have you been doing it?

A: I coach and sponsor the team because I played for Seidman Center as a kid in 1986 and 1987, and it gave me a lot. The teammates I made then are still friends today. I also coach because there was a need. I was told in 2012 that there was no longer a basketball program because there were no coaches. So, I decided to apply and coach my son and his peers.

After a month, I realized a majority of my players didn't have fathers in their lives. It became more than basketball to me. I started developing young men into future leaders. It's really given my life purpose. I'm a father to my kids, and I realize a lot of kids don't have a father's love or guidance. I'm glad I can help in providing my team with a role model. I want to expose them to the world outside Grand Rapids and make college a MUST destination. The future is bright for them, and I just want to do part in guiding them.

Q: What's your favorite memory from this year's season so far?

A: My favorite memory so far this year is the VERY first time we won a tournament and held up the trophy and medals as a team. Our team is very committed, and they deserved to feel like champions for a day.

Q: If I was on the bench or in the locker room, what would be one quote I would hear you telling the boys?

A: "Play hard to the end." OR "Never ever give up." OR "If you want it, you got to work hard to get it." (Hopefully it transcends into their real lives.)

Q: How is the team doing this year?

A: We are currently 30-6! On March 1st and 2nd, we played in a tournament in Wayland and placed 2nd. On March 8th and 9th, we played in a tournament at University of Michigan and placed 2nd again. We are the 2014 Champions of the Meijer Winter State Games and Michigan Boys Basketball Report Winter Showcase. This weekend, we are playing in the GR Storm Classic against some of the best teams in Michigan and Midwest at MVP Fieldhouse. Next weekend, we will participate in the tournament that BGC is putting on at Paul I. Phillips Club. I plan for them to play approximately 35 more games heading into AYBT Nationals in July, where we will stay in St. Francis University dorms for a week in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

GOOD LUCK SEIDMAN! And a big thanks to Coach Davenport!

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#1 Ericka DeWitt said:

Thank you!!!

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Meet our 2014 Youth of the Year Candidates!

February 22nd, 2014

TERRY JONES is a 15 year old sophomore at University Prep Academy. Terry has been a member at the Paul I. Phillips Club since Fall of 2012. In addition to spending time at the Club Terry enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and working on cars. Terry would like to attend the University of Michigan and study business.

RAYMOND KING is a 15 year old sophomore at Grandville High School. Raymond has been a member of the Steil Club since 2009. He is involved in theater, tennis and political science. Raymond enjoys spending time at the Club, being involved in the Ketystone Club, and volunteering in the community. Raymond's future plans include studying to be a constitutional lawyer and Senator at either UCLA or the University of Michigan.

MYEKWAUN MOORE is an 18-year-old junior, who attends Southwest Career Pathways.  His hobbies include spending time with family and playing basketball. Myekwaun has been a Club member at the Paul I. Phillips Club since Fall of 2012. He can often be found at the Club volunteering and helping Mr. Zak with the dinner program. In addition to volunteering at the Club, Myekwaun has volunteered at God’s Kitchen. Myekwaun hopes to one day attend Michigan State University and pursue a career in medicine.

About Youth of the Year:

Established in 1947, “Youth of the Year” is Boys & Girls Club of America’s premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability.

Local Clubs recognize members as “Youth of the Month” winners. The Club also holds a local “Youth of the Year” competition for Club members between the ages of 14-18, where one Club member is then selected as the “Youth of the Year”. The local Clubs’ “Youth of the Year” then participates in the state competition. State winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions.

Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The “National Youth of the Year” receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.

The 2014 Youth of the Year will receive a $1,000 scholarship as well as a $100 gift card and personal stylist from Younkers. All 2014 candidates received a Microsoft Surface from Hand Crafted Systems.

Join us on February 27th to help celebrate the accomplishments of these three amazing candidates and find out the winner! Click here for event information!

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Celebrating Music and Black History Month

February 18th, 2014

Second semester is underway at the Clubs and the Performing Arts Program is running at full speed. After our very successful Winter Concert, we came back after the break and started to work on some new concepts. All our members who participate in the music programming, including general music and chorus students, are now learning the fundamentals of music notation and note reading. I’ve been very pleased with their progress.

Guitar and piano students continue to impress me with their focus and dedication. We are continuing with the class studies and in addition we have begun working on songwriting. Students are collaborating to put songs together with chords, melodies and lyrics. I am there to support their efforts and help guide the way, but they are writing these songs completely on their own. It’s something they are really enjoying, and it’s very exciting for all of us to see what happens. To be at the level where we can take what they’ve learned and apply it so they can express themselves through composition is something I am so very proud to see.

We have partnered with some local non-profits including Step Up Youth and Do Your Dance Inc. to offer dance programming as well, with additional classes beginning this April.

This month we have been celebrating Black History Month by learning about the origins of blues and jazz music, as well as the various instruments that are used in these genres. This also brings an opportunity to talk about how African-American musicians influenced the modern music of today, and what their lives were like in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

As the Spring Concert gets closer (May 8!) we are choosing our repertoire and beginning to rehearse the various pieces. We have some great things planned so we hope to see you in May!

The performing arts are an important component of learning, and it’s important to me that we continue to offer these programs to our members. Studies show that at-risk youth who have arts exposure are twice as likely to attend a 4-year college or university. 71% of at-risk youth with arts-rich experiences attend some kind of college as opposed to 48% with low arts exposure. As more and more schools are forced to cut art and music programs, it’s important that children in the Grand Rapids community have options outside of the schools, or options to bolster what the schools are offering. We are glad to be one of many Grand Rapids organizations that are committed to offering quality arts programs. Contact us to hear how you can help!

/ Mr. Casey

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Grand Rapids Club Members' Artwork goes to Indy

February 16th, 2014

Over the last year, the members from each of the Boys & Girls Clubs have been able to flex their creative muscles in the Art Room.  Each of our three Clubs has a dedicated staff member to host art programs.  Activities range from simple construction paper crafts to highly advanced fine art activities, and the creativity that flows through the Club cannot be stopped.  In December, we hosted an art contest for kids that had been participating in weekly fine arts lessons judged by community members.  The artwork that was produced for this contest was exhibited at the Winter Arts Showcase, which shows a spotlight on the Clubs' Performing and Visual Arts programs.   

The winners of this contest will be exhibited at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis Regional Art Show as a part of the National Fine Arts Program hosted by Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  Studies show that participating in art programs "benefit from a wide range of positive effects including development of creativity and thinking skills, better self-expression, appreciation of art and music, learning about other cultures, and enriched personal satisfaction with their achievements". (Artinaction.org)   Artists at the Boys & Girls Clubs benefit from daily after-school art programs. The chance to exhibit locally, regionally, and —with luck—nationally with the National Fine Arts program is a great opportunity for recognition of this creativity.  

The next programs hosted by the Art Department are the ImageMakers photography program, hosting a show at each Club's Family Night on March 26th, and an emphasis on painting that will include private lessons from local artists.

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#1 Denise Aungst said:

Absolutely amazing opportunity!!

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February's Youth of the Month!

February 15th, 2014

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to February's Youth of the Month Winners:

Seidman Club: Reniya
Why Staff Selected Reniya: Reniya is always smiling and bringing a positive attitude to the Club. She is a big helper to Ms. Nika in the Art Room. We are proud to award her Youth of the Month!

 


 

Paul I. Phillips Club: Delarah
Why Staff Selected Delarah: Delarah has been nominated because we believe she truly represents the BGC and participates in all areas available for her. She follows the rules with a smile on her face and respects the staff and other members.


 

Steil Club: Robert aka RJ
Why Staff Selected RJ: We endorse homework at the Clubs, and RJ has been a superstar advocate of it. He has improved his homework completion as well as his overall participation with Club activities. From helping a staff member in a program area to taking responsibility and being an example to other Club members, RJ's leadership skills and academic improvement make him a clear choice for the Youth of the Month!

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Our Mission

To enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible citizens through education, recreation, and other positive community experiences in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Contact Us

for direct numbers to specific departments and staff visit the contact page.

Paul I. Phillips

ecrison@bgcgran...

(616) 719.0775

726 Madison Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI
49503

Steil Club

cwilson@bgcgran...

(616) 233.9370

235 Straight Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
49504

Seidman Club

klittle@bgcgran...

(616) 452.0061

139 Crofton Street St
Grand Rapids, MI
49507

Camp O'Malley

amanda@campomal...

(616) 871.6551

7360 Thornapple Dales
Alto, MI
49302