The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland's Mission is "to inspire and empower all of the Greater Holland's children and teens especially those who need us most to reach their full potential as productive and caring citizens." In working with youth to reach their full potential one of our main strategies to help them succeed academically, we do this through a program we hold at every site location called " Power Hour". During Power Hour youth come everyday after school to receive help with homework and to work on material they are struggling with. Power Hour is available to all members and a membership fee is open to anyone with the small cost of $5 for the whole year. In preparing for the school year we wanted to know how we could best help our members and their families.
Right now in Holland Public schools 77% of youth are going to school in person and 23% of youth are going virtually. There are even more youth who started out attending school virtually at Black River (100%) and Vanderbilt Charter Academy as well as a portion of the West Ottawa students. We decided to add on to “Power Hour” and add in day time hours for youth who are attending school virtually. Monday through Thursday from 11-2:30 all three of our Club locations are offering in person tutoring one on one or in small groups. Staff work with students on their assignments and help students in areas they are struggling with. We have found this to be beneficial for both youth and parents as it is difficult for parents to be able to juggle their own work and teach their children at the same time. This will help give both virtual and in person attending youth the opportunity to work on their school work in person with a caring helpful adult. We believe that when youth receive this help they are able to achieve academic success. With COVID this year has been extra rough on all youth, not only are kids behind academically, but they also are missing out on important socialization. Providing in person help to small groups of youth attending school virtually not only helps them to catch up academically, but also to maintain and learn healthy social skills and mental health.
During Power Hour youth are able to use Club supplies such as paper, pencils, calculators, flash cards, computers, and the internet. This being said, we also know that having updated technology for youth to be able to work well is very important. Basically, we want to be able to have the staff to provide extra support to virtual students and the equipment to do it. This equipment will also help our youth receive help after school hours. Computers are important because many of our youth from our primary virtual school do not currently have computers that work very well. Computers allow youth to check in on what their assignments are, complete their homework, and even turn in their assignments. Some youth even need computers to zoom into their class or to watch a video about how to do their work. Even youth who are not attending school virtually can benefit from computers as so much of what youth do nowadays is done on them.
Donating to this cause helps us to continue to run Power Hour for our in person and virtual youth as well as supply them with staff support and equipment. It also helps us to be prepared to serve 100's of youth on an as needed basis in this time of uncertainty.