Here at Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County, we strive to set our youth up for successful futures. The clubs are often most known for their elementary school programs, teaching members skills such as communication, creativity, and physical activity. Enrollment starts as young as the age of six- but it doesn’t stop there! As youth grow, we grow with them. Did you know BGCPC Serves youth up to age 18? Our programs give at-risk teens in the community opportunities to develop the skills necessary to enter the workforce so that they are more confident, more prepared adults.  We believe that real-life experiences and career exposure motivate teens who are struggling academically to understand the value of education and graduating on time. 

Through the Workforce Readiness Program, teens explore different careers and learn about the education needed for each. With an evidence-proven approach to workforce readiness, skill development is at the forefront of each club member’s experience. Other club programs such as Diplomas to Degrees, work hand in hand to make the post-secondary school application process less scary and intimidating. The program is a progressive journey helping youth achieve their goals by attaining the appropriate education required for their dream job. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s nurses, teachers, tech support, lawyers, civic leaders, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs & inventors. By enrolling your child in Boys & Girls Clubs, you are securing a better future for your teen, ensuring they have the tools necessary to thrive in this complicated world.

“Jenkins Teen program has decided to buckle down and get even more involved in our member’s Academics. One of the ways that we accomplished this was by creating “Academic Awareness.” Academic Awareness starts by spending every Monday focusing on academics. Setting aside this day to help the teens with what they may be struggling with, or maybe they want to advance in a class and need our help. We do this by having the kids pull up their grades to record where they are, what we discussed, written encouragements, and goals. Recently during Academic Awareness, we discovered one of the members’ grades were very poor. His teachers had left notes of concerns and the reasons why his grades were this way. We came up with a plan on what we could do to help him on Mondays and how he could utilize his downtime at the Boys & Girls Club to better serve his education and still have his freedom. This opened the door for us to learn about some of his struggles personally. After talking with him, we discovered Mom didn’t know he was struggling. During pickup, we got the chance to shed some light to Mom on where her child was. Dedicating this time every Monday to our Teens ensures that we stay on top of grades, creating a support system for our members and parents.”

From our George Jenkins Memorial Teen Coordinator, Marticia Baker.

Along with our nine other clubs across Polk County, we are thrilled to announce the opening of the Brian Lamar Brady Club. Our 10th club is located on the Lake Gibson Middle School campus, our very first to solely serve teens. This is an amazing opportunity to provide a safe, constructive place for teens after school in North Lakeland. The need for a club in this community is great.

“The school’s 2022-23 Schoolwide Improvement Plan shows that students have lost ground in Math and ELA proficiency.  The plan also indicated a need for improved student engagement and identified a need for more high-yield, interactive learning activities. Lake Gibson Middle School students need additional academic support to help them succeed, but no middle schooler wants to spend an extra 2 hours after school each day doing academic exercises.

The Brian Lamar Brady Boys & Girls Club will offer a safe space for Lake Gibson Middle School youth to engage in fun activities that reinforce learning without feeling like more schoolwork.  Activities will be led by caring mentors who have passed DCF-required background checks and participated in a well-rounded training program. A typical day at the club will include homework help for those who need it, time for recreational activities that help to build teamwork, programs designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and positive interaction with others, meals, and snacks.”

Vera LaPointe, Grants Compliance Specialist.

Funding from generous donors within the community and Grants like the Taco Bell Foundation Community Grant make our mission possible, at no cost to families who qualify. Register your Lake Gibson Middle Schooler today, or check out our other club locations.