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July's Youth of the Month!

July 16th, 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 July's Youth of the Month Winners:

Seidman Club: Travorius
Why Staff Selected Travorius: He is a great kid and he is always willing to help in anything.

 


 

 

Steil Club: Alexis
Why Staff Selected Alexis: Alexis is active in all parts of the Club. She helps out the staff when it's the to clean and straighten up around the Steil Club without any pressure to do so. She is an awesome role model to the younger members as well as the older teens.

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#1 Melissa said:

Aww look at my baby girl mom's so proud

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Welcome to the team!

July 14th, 2014

As some of you may already know, there are some new faces hanging around the Clubs these days. Also, some old faces have taken on new roles within the organization! We are excited to get to know them a little bit better and thought you would too! Check out our interviews below:

Shawn Flood - Paul I. Phillips Club Director

Q: Why are you excited to take on your new role at the Clubs?
A: I am excited for a change in scenery and the opportunity to take my skills as a youth development professional to the next level by learning new methods and practices from the staff and the administration at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth.

Q: What were you doing before this position?
A: My previous position was Unit Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Battle Creek.

Q: What's something fun we should know about you?
A: I am very good at doing headstands and drawing mustaches on the kids.

 

Coach Derrick Owens - Seidman Club Director

Q: Why are you excited to take on your new role at the Clubs?
A: I am very excited to work with kids of all ages. I have a passion for young people and helping them with their journey in life. I will never forget how I used to feel when I was their ages. My responsibility is to give them the right information so that they can make good choices as the grow up and journey to their life’s passions.

Q: What were you doing before this position?
A: I have been an educator for 30 plus years, most recently as a Youth Advocate Specialist with the Grand Rapids Public School District, at Alger Middle School. I relocated back to Michigan from North Carolina in 2009 and had the opportunity to coach basketball at GRCC, Grand Valley State University, and this past season at Catholic Central High School. I have coached basketball at the high school, college, and AAU levels. Previous to leaving Michigan, I taught and coached Detroit St. Martin dePorres High School winning four state championships and a 2009 AAU National Championship.

Q: What's something fun we should know about you?
A: I love having fun playing with my five grandchildren: Isaiah 5, Jason Jr. 4, Elijah 2, Alecia 2, and Maliya 1.

 

Mario Leon - Volunteer & Database Coordinator

Q: Why are you excited to take on your new role at the Clubs?
A: I am excited for the challenge of taking our existing volunteer system and improving on it to become more intentional in bringing the many talents that our volunteers possess to create more varied and fun learning opportunities for our Club members.  One never knows what experience may light a spark in a child that will be beneficial later in life.

Q: What were you doing before this position?
A: I was the Membership Coordinator here at the Steil Club for the past two years.  It was, at times, challenging but an almost always fun time.  The thing I will miss most about that role is that I won't be as hands-on or spend as much time with the kids in everyday Club activities.

Q: What's something fun we should know about you?
A: Before coming to BGC, I spent my whole professional life in the retail end of the music industry and had the time of my life!  I live and breathe music and film, and there's probably no life situation that arises that I can't find a music or film quote to relate to it.  I love dogs and have a Chinese Crested named Samuel who is the world! Also, I love ice cream.

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Shy Sky - New Song by our Club Members!

July 13th, 2014

Recently, we had our Performing Arts workshop at our Steil Club. Each Club and Camp O'Malley will have a one-week shortened version of four-week Kids Have Talent program that will take place July 7-Aug 1 at the Wealthy Theatre Annex.

During our songwriting day at Steil, a few Club members collaborated with Performing Arts Director Casey Stratton to write an original song! Everyone worked together to develop a cohesive narrative and make choices about melody, tempo, and structure. It was clear that these students wanted to express how it feels to be shy and perhaps misunderstood when attempting to make new friends. Using music to express these emotions is a great way to process and understand them and is one more reason we remain committed to providing these opportunities to our members. Listen and watch "Shy Sky" now:

For more information about our Kids Have Talent workshop, contact Casey at cstratton@bgcgrandrapids.org or 616.452.0061 ext 204.

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Intramural Basketball League & Clinics

July 11th, 2014

Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids will be having an Intramural Basketball League starting July 12th and going through August 16th. This League is for ages 12-17. The first two weeks will consist of clinics instructed by BGC-GR and Grand Rapids Drive Staff (those dates are July 12th and July 19th). All of the Clinic Participants will then take part in 5 on 5 games, which will be during the remaining four weeks. All participants must be Club members. Please contact us for more information!

About Grand Rapids Drive:

The Grand Rapids Drive, or NBA Development League, is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 14 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the league offers professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Thirty percent of players in the NBA at the end of the 2012-13 season boasted NBA D-League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. Fans can watch all NBA D-League games on nbadleague.com

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Summer Performing Arts Opportunities!

July 2nd, 2014

Concert Photo

We have some great summer opportunities for our members to participate in our arts programs at the Clubs and beyond! Club members can participate in visual and performing arts classes, workshops and general free time activities. 

Performing Arts Summer Programs include:

KIDS HAVE TALENT! - As part of this year's believe 2 Become programming, we are pleased to be offering a 4 week session at Wealthy Theatre Annex for students who have just completed the 3rd-5th grades. The KIDS HAVE TALENT performing arts session will include a different theme each week. 

Week One: Telling My Story - Students will learn how to effectively write and perform short stories. Using fun games and exciting exercises, students will explore how stories passed information in cultures throughout history and also learn how to tell their own stories. 

Week Two: Singing My Song - Songwriting week will feature many thrilling adventures in music! From personal songs to fun songs to jingles, we'll cover it all.

Week Three: Playing The Part - This week will focus on acting, both for theatre and for film. Working together to create skits and improvisations will be a fun and beneficial way to explore all that the theatre has to offer. 

Week Four: Lights! Camera! Action! - Using the skills gained in weeks 1-3, students will write, perform and shoot a short film. From planning shot lists to executing the filming, students will surely have a blast making their own movie!

Each of our 3 Clubs and Camp O'Malley will have a one-week workshop that features a shortened version of the KIDS HAVE TALENT program as well. Those weeks were June 23-27 at the Steil Club and upcoming weeks include June 30-July3 at the Paul I. Phillips Club, August 4-7 at Camp O'Malley and August 11-15 at the Seidman Club. It's shaping up to be a fun-filled summer for the performing arts program!

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Head to Noto's for Dinner!

June 16th, 2014

Print out this flyer and head on down to Noto's Old World Italian Dining before June 29th! Our Clubs will receive 10% of your purchase!

 

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Camp O'Malley Gets NEW Farmers Insurance Garden

June 10th, 2014

Camp O'Malley is very excited to add an organic garden to the plethora of activities a child can enjoy in a camp setting. The idea for the garden was brought to Camp Director Amanda Alters by David Fox who is the founder of project Amir, a growing organization that partners with summer camps to teach children about social issues through garden activities. The vision of Amir is to enlighten, inspire, and empower youth to make sustainable life choices.

Thanks to a grant Amir received, Camp O’Malley was able to partner with the organization to implement to garden. As a part of the grant, Amir has sent Camp O’Malley a full time gardener to tend to the garden throughout the summer, while incorporating an educational garden program with the Campers. “Farmer Ashlee” is from Idaho and is a Horticulture major who is passionate about helping high risk youth and teaching them about healthy life choices. She uses the garden as a medium to connect kids with social issues like water conservation, eating healthy, and even bullying.

The garden itself is 40' x 40' and in the shape of the Camp O'Malley logo, resembling a large sunshine with the center consisting of a giant herb spiral. The multitude of herbs include various basil species, peppermint, spearmint, lavender, sage, thyme, and oregano. The petal shaped raised beds house bell peppers, watermelon, cauliflower, cucumbers, and squash. The perimeter of the garden contains wooden beds planted with 40 tomato plants, strawberries, and additional squash like zucchini.

Thanks to a grant from Farmers Insurance, we were able to purchase all of the gardening materials including raised cedar garden beds and a six foot fence around the perimeter. A huge thanks to Kris Fisher and James Verduin from Farmers Insurance for their efforts in applying for the grant and helping implement our vision so perfectly. During the week of June 1st, we had more than 50 volunteers come to Camp O’Malley to get the garden ready for Campers to arrive on June 16th. All of the plants were donated to the garden from both Bos Nursery and Koetsiers Greenhouse.

 

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ArtPrize Artists to Paint "My Great Future Is..." Mural at Steil Boys & Girls Club

June 4th, 2014

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, youth are provided a safe space to learn and develop the skills they need to achieve a great future. One way to help children understand themselves and others is through art, specifically murals. Youth are challenged to examine art and its importance within the community through murals.

ArtPrize artist Alberto Gomez and his wife Luz Stella traveled from Florida to paint a mural in the Steil Boys & Girls Club. The mural is themed “My Great Future Is” and Club members from the three Grand Rapids Club locations participated in a drawing contest depicting what their great future is. Fifteen finalists were selected, and their futures are being joined together in a larger vision for the gymnasium wall at the Steil Club. This mural will mark 31 murals that Luz Stella and Alberto Gomez have painted over the years in the United States.

“This mural project shows the true diversity of the great futures of Boys & Girls Club members,” said Erin Crison, Director of Programming at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids. “We have members who want to be doctors, singers, teachers, scientists, and scuba divers, and it is so exciting to think that with the support of the Clubs and their families and the Greater Grand Rapids community these great futures will be actualized!”

Both artists and young artists from the Clubs have been spending nearly every day this week turning a simple wall into something that the Club members can be inspired by each day. The mural will be revealed and dedicated at a wrap-up ice cream social open to the public on June 10th at 4:30pm.

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May's Youth of the Month!

May 20th, 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 May's Youth of the Month Winners:

Seidman Club: Mariah
Why Staff Selected Mariah: Mariah's very helpful around lunch time and with the younger kids. She is in high school and acts as a great role model to the other Club Members.

 


 

Paul I. Phillips Club: Darius
Why Staff Selected Darius: Darius is always a big help. He helps out regularly when we close down for the day with cleaning or any other tasks. He always does it with a great attitude and doesn't get upset when he's asked to help out.

 

 

Steil Club: Zakiya
Why Staff Selected Zakiya: Zakiya is one of our most helpful teen members. Daily, she asks if she can help clean up around the Club after dinner. It is so nice to have an extra hand or two during that busy time. Additionally, Zakiya participates in the Clubs choir group and was brave enough to take on a solo in the Spring Concert this month. Her performance was outstanding just like her great character.

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New KaBoom! playground at Seidman Boys & Girls Club

May 18th, 2014

A playground is more than a playground. It’s a brain-expander, friend-maker, and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It can transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to physically, mentally and socially active. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the bold goal of ensuring that all children get the balance of active play they need to become healthy and successful adults because #playmatters.

The new playground built at Seidman Boys & Girls Club on May 17, 2014 (design based on Club members’ drawings created at a special design event in March) will bring more than 1,000 kids in Grand Rapids one step closer to having the childhood they deserve. Currently, there is a limited number of safe places where kids can play outside in the City of Grand Rapids. The new playground at the Club will provide a safe place for thousands kids to play each year.

“A community’s well-being begins with a child’s well-being,” said Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. “With the support from our partners at Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth in building this playspace, we hope to instill the importance of active play for kids and families in the community for generations to come.”

The playground is the fifth built by Good Neighbor Pharmacy and KaBOOM!. Through this partnership, more children will have the joyful childhood they deserve. Good Neighbor Pharmacy supports KaBOOM! in promoting and protecting a child’s right to active play at home, at school and in the community.

“Bringing play to communities like Grand Rapids is critical to the health and wellbeing of our young generation,” said Scott Robinson, Vice President of Good Neighbor Pharmacy. “Obesity and diabetes are huge health issues right now, and this is a perfect way for children to get out and exercise to hopefully combat these diseases in the future. It’s also a great way for our pharmacists to give back to the community in which they live and work every day.”

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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

sflood@bgcgrand...

(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

dowens@bgcgrand...

(616) 452.0061

139 Crofton Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI
49507

Camp O'Malley

amanda@campomal...

(616) 871.6551

7360 Thornapple Dales
Alto, MI
49302