National Boys & Girls Club Week

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Caylee Peterson, Makim Pryce, Skyler Mowell, Hunter VanSickle and Makena Pryce with their "peeps" cake.
Caylee Peterson, Makim Pryce, Skyler Mowell, Hunter VanSickle and Makena Pryce with their “peeps” cake.

Article Contributed by
Heidi Woodard

Everyone knows the saying April showers bring May flowers.  Yet not everyone will know that April will also bring the National Boys & Girls Club Week. During the week of April 9 to 13, 2018 Boys & Girls Clubs around the nation will be celebrating the yearly National Boys & Girls Club Week.

The Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown has been celebrating the National Boys & Girls Club Week with students during the early April break from school. And they will continue to celebrate during the National Boys & Girls Club Week this week, as the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown will also start recruiting for student mentees for their new mentoring program.  Staff from the Boys & Girls Club have recently completed training for the mentoring program, which will pair each staff with one or two student mentees.

The mentoring program will allow children to build relationships and trust with another adult in their life, through bonding over the children’s’ interests or ideas for the program. The national program, is truly vested in the Boys & Girls Club goals of healthy living, making good choices, and building positive relationships. The mentoring program is just one of the many programs available to area students.

Assistant Executive Director, Dianne Woleen, stated that roughly 110 to 130 area students participate in the Boys & Girls club programming on school days. This number increases to between 175 and 190 during the summer, for both the in-house and day camp programing. Activities range to suit a wide variety of needs and interests. The Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown offers everything from homework help, swimming, cooking, drumming and karate, to employment skills for children ages 5 to 18.

Programming is adapted to be completely age appropriate for the students involved. The employment skills program (for children 10 to 16), had become so popular that a version of the program was designed to involve younger children ages 6 to 9 as well.  Sporting programs are available and are also customized to meet the capabilities of different age groups; even 3- and 4-year olds can partake in the Intro to Sports sessions which include soccer, kickball, tea ball, and basketball.

If the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown seems to be just for children, but that would be wrong!  Adults can also participate in classes, such as learn to swim, water aerobics, or arthritis swim. They can also use the gym or weight room, and some health insurances (such as Independent Health) can pay for most of the yearly membership and some of the programming costs. Program costs for children and adults are extremely affordable, and partial scholarships are available for children’s programming.

Dianne also greatly appreciates the adult community involvement since it is an invaluable resource to the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown’s program.  The adult community remains supportive of the Club as a whole.  Thursday nights are Family Night and “we encourage families to come together and play together – swimming, gym, computer room, game rooms. The third Thursday of every month is a special event family night. Sometimes we have grocery bingo where families can earn free groceries,” Dianne said.

The Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown came into existence in 1986 when the 1939 Boys Club of Jamestown, and the 1947 Girls Club of Jamestown merged.  For more history or  information on how to become involved in the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown contact them at 716-664-2902.  For more information regarding scholarships, or program applications visit their website at http://www.bgcjamestown.org/.