New Programs for Young People
Each of these programs was brought to the Club by an interested community leader who saw value in supporting the key concepts of the Boys & Girls Club Movement. The Club welcomes ideas for such creative and interesting programs:
A Trip to the Reagan Library
Last August, Jake Jacobs, of Rose, Snyder & Jacobs, CPAs, hosted 50 5th-8th graders from the Club’s summer program to a special trip to the Ronald Reagan Library.
Prior to the trip, the youngsters studied the invasion of Grenada, and they each played the role of a different Presidential advisor evaluating various aspects of the proposed invasion. The Discovery Center gave each youngster the opportunity to experience the responsibilities and challenges faced by members of the Executive branch of government. Club members became the advisors to the President, top level military officials, members of the White House Press Corps, and even the President!
This exercise helped the children practice and improve their critical thinking and decision-making skills in a comprehensive learning environment unlike any other in the nation, and provided the opportunity to learn more about a President who spent most of his life in Southern California.
Each of the youngsters received a photograph of themselves in front of Air Force One as a souvenir of a stimulating and very special day for the Club’s members.
A Skateboarding Adventure: Brent Guttman of FMS Financial Partners and Club Board member arranged for some of the children to build their own skateboards. He brought boards, wheels, stickers and all the necessary items for each child to make his or her board truly original.
A professional skateboarder taught the Club members safety rules and all of this was followed by a trip to the Van’s Shoe Company’s indoor skatepark in Orange County where the Club members saw demonstrations by three professional skateboarders. The youngsters then had lunch with the pros and asked questions.
Cooper Literacy Challenge
Cooper Reading Challenge: Two years ago, in celebration of Cooper Communications’ 25th anniversary, Club Vice Chairman-Marketing Martin Cooper donated $25 for each of 25 youngsters at the Club to buy one or more books for themselves or family members.
In 2008, Club supporters and community members donated enough for 96 children to each have $25 for books. The key to the program is that the adults who contributed went with the children to help them select their books, so they could see the results of their largesse and the impact actually selecting a book made on youngsters, several of whom had never been in a bookstore before.
To qualify, each of the children read an age-appropriate book and wrote a review, which was reviewed and evaluated by the Club’s professional staff.
According to Cooper, “This program isn’t about fundraising; it’s about teaching children to love and value books and reading. I share Ray Bradbury’s opinion: “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.