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BGCA Great Think for Indian Country

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Great Think series is designed to facilitate innovative public-private collaborations that ensure great futures for America’s youth. On Tuesday, July 12, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) hosted over 100 experts from government agencies, corporate entities, leading researchers and non-government organizations to address the unique challenges faced by youth in Indian Country. Participants were asked to identify collaborative solutions that can create positive change in Native communities so that youth can attain the necessary resources to achieve a great future.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell spoke at the event and shared her encouragement and hope for the Native youth in attendance by saying, “Resilience isn’t just how strong you are, or how smart you are on your own. We go farther together. When we have each other, we have hope. So take a moment to look at this room – your fellow youth leaders, and all of the adults who are so eager to help you succeed. We all have each other. And we have so much hope – in you.”

As a result of the heartfelt dialogues and the active participation of Native youth during this meeting, BGCA will develop a white paper identifying the key themes, insightful recommendations, and innovative solutions that arose from the panel presentations, round table discussions and group exercises.

BGCA and the Native Services Unit is privileged and honored to benefit from the participation of so many dedicated people, and we thank the Great Think attendees for their time and commitment to help drive solutions to serve the youth in Indian Country. We look forward to continued collaboration with you to support Native youth.

For additional information about the event, please visit greatfutures.org/greatthink.

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Supporting Great Futures During Summer Programs

Evenings, weekends, and summer days are often associated with a reprieve from the rigors of the classroom, however, time out of school should not mean time away from learning. In fact, these times are optimal for promoting academic enrichment and exploring new skills in your Club! Boys & Girls Clubs of America encourages local Clubs and communities to rethink what builds success and to continue to promote academic achievement outside of school hours. A combination of time spent in school and at the Club builds great futures for Club kids everywhere!

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) has conducted eye-opening research about academic retention during summer. Previous findings show that kids involved in summer programming prevent learning loss of up to two months’ worth of reading and math skills. According to NSLA, participation in summer programs as well as after school activities can reverse negative trends that youth face regarding gaps in achievement, employment, and college and career success. As a result of these findings, out of school time programs have caught the attention of national organizations and agencies as youth development professionals and stakeholders strive to close the achievement gap while also allowing kids to be kids.

Learning opportunities this summer, and after school this fall, are invaluable to community youth. As a Club leader or staff member, you are a major contributor to this effort! In the busyness that is summer programming, take a moment to reflect on the success you are helping the Club kids reach by being a part of the Movement.

Do you want to know more about how out of school time programs benefit youth and how to enhance your programs? Check out these Websites to find fact sheets, tool kits, summer learning celebration events, and professional development webinars.

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BGCA Native Services Unit
Dallas Service Center
2107 N. Collins Boulevard
Richardson, TX 75080

Direct: 972-581-2374
E-mail: BGCANS@BGCA.ORG