Local Boys & Girls Clubs win award for serving community
Aiding more than 120 children ages 6 to 12 every day, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado has been named the inaugural winner of the JustServe Award for Northwest Colorado.
The Boys & Girls Clubs have one goal: enable all young people, especially those who need the nonprofit organization most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.
The award presentation was Friday in Craig with Craig Mayor Ryan Hess.
“The club is a true community gem and has served the community for close to 17 years,” said Kelly Landers, development director at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado. “I can’t think of a more deserving organization for the JustServe awards as that is what they do every day — serve the children of the Craig community.”
After school, children will begin arriving at the club. When they get off the bus, they are immediately greeted with a big smile from Club Director Tanya Ferguson.
Once everyone is checked in, each child is served a plate of food, along with another big smile. For some children, this may be a snack. For others, it can be the only meal they will get that evening. The food is healthy, hot and flavored with the love from the club’s staff.
After dinner, the club fields a plethora of activities, all organized by Ferguson and Erin Steger.
Ferguson and Steger are credited for going out of their way to plan fun and educational activities every evening. As a result, the 120 children can take part in a variety of unique learning experiences, such as Campfire Kids, where they learn about the outdoors, or Cowboy Ethics, where they learn how to be good citizens.
Other programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs include gym games, in which everyone is encouraged to participate; STEAM programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and math; help with homework with staff mentors; and Kelso’s Choices, where they learn how to deal with bullying.
According to the club, these programs have been proven to have a profound impact on the club members and, many club graduates cite these programs as directly contributing to their success as adults.
Ferguson and Steger also oversee the adult and junior staff of up to 20 individuals each day. The junior staff is comprised of high schoolers, who are learning valuable life skills while they help the younger children with homework and learn to resolve interpersonal conflicts.
For many junior staff, this is their first job, and working at the Boys and Girls Club teaches them how to be good employees.
“The staff and volunteers at the Craig Boys and Girls Club exemplify the ideals of JustServe, to help people help each other,” said Holly Weik, JustServe coordinator for Northwest Colorado.
“We’re excited to recognize the amazing work this organization is doing by investing time in our children to make them successful, and hope it inspires others to serve in their community wherever needed,” she continued.
JustServe matches faith, nonprofit, community and governmental organizations which need volunteers with volunteers willing to help. Go to JustServe.org for links to service opportunities in the community.
Additionally, JustServe.org also has scheduled a community service project for the club at 10 a.m. Saturday.
For the service project, all community members are invited to help and the work will include painting, garden preparation, cleaning and fence building. JustServe is also seeking donations for some painting materials.
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