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!
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 March'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.
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*.
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.
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.
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
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!