Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County’s Growing Impact

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County is seeing hard work and perseverance pay off as the organization grows to impact youth in a number of communities across Washington State and a portion of Oregon. Recently, two units of the organization were named as recipients of special opportunities as a result of their involvement in the On the T.R.A.I.L. (Together Raising Awareness for Indian Life) to Diabetes Prevention program.

T.R.A.I.L. participants at the Warm Springs Branch, located in Warm Springs, OR, were given a donation of athletic shoes from the popular athletic brand, Under Armour. The company has pledged to bring supplies and support for sports and physical activities to communities that may not already have access to these resources.

While youth in Warm Springs were equipped to be on the move, another unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish also had the opportunity to grow their movement. The Amerigroup Foundation has partnered with the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club, located in Tulalip, WA, to raise awareness and help combat diabetes among local kids and teens. Type 2 diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, and affects all Washingtonians, but the risk is higher for American Indian and Alaska Native youth. The Foundation has awarded $20,000 in funding to support health and wellness programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County.

“Early education can provide better outcomes,” said Amerigroup Washington Medical Director Dr. Tanya Dansky. “This is why Amerigroup strongly supports the [On the] T.R.A.I.L. to Diabetes Prevention program in Tulalip.”

Through the organization’s T.R.A.I.L. program, Club members maintain six raised garden beds growing fruits and vegetables which include strawberries, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, blueberries, zucchini, pumpkins, tomatoes, green onions and hybrid apple trees. Activities to support Club members’ health and wellness include creating their own cookbook to share with community members, fun high-yield learning activities like Healthy Habits and Jeopardy, and scheduled sports and fitness activities each day for 60 minutes.

Early education programs, including T.R.A.I.L., are reaching more Club youth than ever before. Ken Salem, Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, reports that “Membership has increased by 22% since 2013 with average daily attendance of 250 youth each day! Nearly 900 tribal youth participate in academic enrichment programming, an increase of over 300% over the last three years.”

While the two units may be in different states, they are unified through a common goal: to create bright futures for youth in their communities.

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