The Kiwanis Club of Hartsville presented the Hartsville Boys & Girls Club with a $1,500 grant on Thursday, April 6, to help fund the Club’s Ron Clark House System Character Education Program.
“The partnership between the Kiwanis Club and the Boys & Girls Club is a natural fit,” says Neal Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area. “As Kiwanis is dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time, we serve as a tool to reach nearly 200 youth each year in Hartsville. Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people from throughout the Pee Dee Area, especially those who need us most, to become productive, responsible, and caring citizens.”
The Hartsville Boys & Girls Club successfully provides high quality after-school programming and has received numerous awards for excellence in programs, staff, and board development. The Club serves youth ages 6-18 in the Hartsville area, and the Club is open 252 days a year to provide a safe place for kids. Of those youth, 69% come from single-parent homes, which means the Club provides those parents an opportunity to maintain stable employment because they have somewhere to send their children once they get out of school and be supervised.
“Most of the kids we serve don’t belong to any other youth organization (93%),” Zimmermans says. “The Club is the only chance for a positive influence these kids have outside of school.
Hartsville Club Director Dianne Montgomery has more than 16 years of Boys & Girls Club experience overseeing club programs and serves as a life coach for both adults and youth.
“The Ron Clark House System Character Education Program is a dynamic and exciting way to create a positive climate and culture for our youth,” Montgomery says. “The methods build character and positive relationship and life skills that schools often don’t have time to address.”
Studies show that people who develop healthy and adaptive social and emotional skills during childhood are more likely to make positive decisions regarding alcohol, illegal substances, and criminal activity, as well as avoid physical and mental health challenges later in life. Exposing youth to an array of programs, activities, and strategies increases their competence and confidence to apply these skills in real-life settings.
Specifically, the Ron Clark House System Character Education Program features eight “houses” that focus on giving, friendship, courage, pursuit of dreams, excellence, unity, respect, and encouragement.
The Hartsville Boys & Girls Club located at 1103 S. Sixth St. on the Butler Heritage Foundation campus. Summer registration information will be available at the end of April. For more information, visit www.bgcpda.org or call 843-332-1400.