After years of hard work and determination, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County will now be able to extend its reach of service to East Whatcom County. Thanks to the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant the Boys & Girls Clubs will be establishing learning centers in the Mount Baker School district, which will serve 120 students.

Centers will be established at Kendall Elementary School, a Title I serving school, and Mount Baker Junior High, a Title I eligible school, neither of which has any similar, daily after school programming in place. Like at all Boys & Girls Clubs, the new learning centers will aid students in academics, build strong character and citizenship, and teach the importance of healthy lifestyles.

The importance of literacy and basic math skills for further academic, and eventually career growth, cannot be overstated. Currently, the district faces many students with academic achievement gaps across many grades in English language arts and math.  One of the core goals of the 21st Century Learning Centers will be to target at-risk students, based on low proficiency in core subjects, and bring students up to academic achievement standards. Teachers will be employed by the program for 45 minutes, four days a week, to provide academic remediation in literacy and math to each grade level separately. In addition, students will be involved in STEM programming as well as Boys & Girls Club academic programming like Power Hour and Stride Academy, which engage students in homework completion and improve learning techniques.

Beyond the classroom, the learning centers will explore other essential enrichment areas of learning and development for children. In order to reduce risky behavior in students, the Boys & Girls Club with implement a number of social/emotional wellness activities to build confidence and character. SMART (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) Moves utilizes age-appropriate small group discussions to teach decision-making skills enabling students to avoid risky behaviors.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County is excited to further its mission into an area of the county in need. With the strong partnership of the Mount Baker School District, the Boys & Girls Clubs can make an impact on the lives of even more of the youth in our community,” Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County CEO, Heather Powell said.