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Last summer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County had nearly 500 children on its waitlist for summer programming – nearly as many as served by the organization overall.
In a community where the average cost of place-based childcare is more than $1,100 per month, per child, Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County’s cost of $20 per child, per summer, can’t be beat.
When Boys & Girls Clubs approached United Way about providing funding for an additional site, President and CEO Annie Davies jumped at the opportunity to launch United Way’s newest grant-making initiative. United Way has since awarded two of its new Innovation Grants – the first to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and the second to Big Green.
“We are truly proud to launch our new Innovation Grant process,” said Davies. “Thanks to the support of our generous community, we are been able to open this new type of grant that encourages nonprofits to look for leveraged funds, explore pilot projects, fill pressing community needs and consider innovative partnerships to solve complex social issues. This new grant-making avenue also allows us to increase our investment in the community without decreasing support for currently funded collaborative groups.”
With the additional funding from United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs was able to expand its facilities for the summer, opening an additional site at Irish Elementary school, specifically designed for six- and seven-year-old program participants. This specific site allows for developmental differences in programming for the Clubs’ youngest attendees, as the organization serves children ages six to 18.
The Club at Irish features 45 to 60 kids per day, providing them with academic enrichment as well as safe and affordable summer care. Some participants also receive academic instruction in the morning through Poudre School District’s Camp Sol program. In addition, through a partnership with the Food Bank for Larimer County, the Club also provides breakfast, lunch and a daily snack to participants at no additional cost to parents.
In addition to being an affordable choice for families, the drop-in format allows for increased flexibility for families during the summer. Boys & Girls Clubs also partners with the school district to track aggregate data to better understand how students who attend the Club perform in school. As well as tracking academic data, the Club looks at social and emotional components to understand how environment, peer connection and adult connection makes a difference in school performance.
“My favorite part about the Club is going to the computer labs,” said Taliyah, a program participant pictured below. “I like reading chapter books in the summer too.”
Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County has been a long-time recipient of United Way of Larimer County funding, as part of United Way’s efforts to invest in youth and education. The additional facility at Irish, as well as another Club site in Loveland, also helped ensure that more low-income families would have access to quality, affordable child care. Click here to read more about the case for child care in Larimer County.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County