Published: Oct 23, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Oct 23, 2012 06:46 PM
CHAPEL HILL - The Boys & Girls Club of Eastern Piedmont (Orange County) will break ground for a new Boys & Girls Club (BGC) at 4 p.m. Nov. 4 at the future home of the club, 107 Johnson St.
The BGC mission is “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens,” according to a news release.
More specifically, the Orange County Club will provide school-age children and youth of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area with a professionally supervised, consistent environment where they are safe, equally accepted and able to participate in goal-oriented programs that enhance their self esteem and assist them to achieve their full potential, the release said. Membership is open to any school-age child in town.
Boys & Girls Clubs are affordable and accessible. Organizers expect the Orange County Club membership fee will be less than $20 per year. The BGC will be open after school and on weekends, holidays, teacher workdays and the entire summer.
A two-year Columbia University study of Boys & Girls Clubs showed that communities with a BGC experienced a 25 percent reduction in the presence of drugs, a 22 percent reduction in overall drug activity and a 13 percent reduction in juvenile crime and that 80 percent of participants learned right from wrong, according to the release. Half of adults who have attended a BGC state that it “saved their lives.”
A local needs survey indicated that although there are many activities for children in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area, most of the programs have waiting lists and costs that prohibit many children from participation. In addition, many facilities have limited hours or are not open frequently enough to serve the community. In this affluent area, about 600 families make less than $15,000 per year and many children cannot afford to participate in youth programs.
“We are excited to reach this milestone because The Boys & Girls Club is a proven solution to help answer many of the challenges young people face,” said Ben Perry, board of directors chairman.
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