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Partnership with Verizon and Microsoft Provides New Opportunities for Native Youth

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell recently announced a new partnership with Verizon and Microsoft that will provide wireless tablets and high-speed wireless internet services to more than 1,000 Native American students located in eight Native youth dormitories located throughout New Mexico, Montana, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, and South Dakota. Verizon has also partnered with the Native Services Unit to provide appropriate resources and two years of free digital training, services, and support for students, teachers, and dormitory staff.

“This exciting partnership helps ensure students continue learning after they leave the classroom,” said Secretary Jewell, who outlined the partnership during the President’s seventh White House Tribal Nations Conference in November. “Access to today’s technology and wireless Internet are important parts of the equation as we work to assist tribal communities in providing students with a high-quality and culturally-relevant education. I applaud Microsoft and Verizon for their commitment to remove education barriers for Native students.”

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Produce on Wheels Brings Healthy Produce to the Greater Scottsdale Community

This month, BGCIC AmeriCorps VISTA member Alexandra Nieto from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale - Red Mountain Unit organized Produce on Wheels, a monthly event hosted at the Club.

At Produce on Wheels, families and community members have an opportunity to pay just $10 to shop for up to 60 pounds of fresh, nutritional produce. The event is made possible through a partnership with the local Borderlands Food Bank. Produce on Wheels and their partners help to distribute 10 million pounds of fresh produce per year throughout the area.

Alexandra estimates that more than 65 community members came out to the event to purchase produce. In addition to hosting Produce on Wheels and bringing affordable produce into their community, the Club also receives 10% of the proceeds, making the event a great fundraiser.

In her role as the Club’s VISTA member, Alexandra recruited several volunteers for the recent event. Volunteers were available to help participants choose their produce and transport it. By hosting this event and creating the opportunity for families to access healthy produce, Alexandra and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale – Red Mountain Unit are supporting both their Club members and the community.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Adair County Schools Partners with Cherokee Nation Youth Services Department to Prevent Bullying

As a follow up to National Bullying Month in October, the Cherokee Nation Youth Services Department provided a Bullying Prevention presentation to several of the Boys & Girls Club of Adair County Schools sites, including the Rocky Mountain, Maryetta, and Stilwell Units.

Bullying takes many different forms and affects youth across the country. As adults, it can be easy to accidentally overlook when bullying is taking place unless it is overt. According to one large study by Bradshaw and colleagues in 2007, staff at all school levels (elementary, middle, and high) underestimate the number of students who are involved in frequent bullying. In this same study, they found that the most common types of bullying that middle school students experience are name calling, teasing, spreading rumors and lies, and pushing or shoving. Club members got the chance to learn about these common types of bullying and how to address them. After the presentation by the Cherokee Nation, the Club members played “Bullying Prevention BINGO” to reinforce the newly learned knowledge.

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AmeriCorps VISTA Members Fight Poverty In Ottawa County

On October 17th, the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa County in Miami, Oklahoma, highlighted the work of the AmeriCorps VISTA program in honor of End Poverty Day. Since 1993, the United Nations has observed October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.

The goal of the AmeriCorps VISTA program is to end poverty nationwide. At the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa County, VISTA members work to promote the programs and services the Club provides for low-income families.

“Some of the youth in our program are challenged with homelessness, generational poverty, and hunger. The programs at the Boys & Girls Club fight poverty by encouraging youth to succeed academically, to make smart and healthy choices for themselves, and to be productive citizens,” said VISTA member Maria Olson.

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Boys & Girls Club of Ohkay Owingeh Receives KaBOOM! Grant

The Boys & Girls Club of Ohkay Owingeh is growing to address the needs of their community. They recently applied for and received a KaBOOM! grant which provides eligible communities with the majority of funds, tools, and resources they need to build a custom-made playground in a day. KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing active play into the lives of kids by creating great play spaces through the participation and leadership of local communities. Once the Club was selected as a recipient, Club staff worked closely with a KaBOOM! Project Manager, who led community involvement activities and coordinated equipment and material purchases for the project.

Community members and Club staff took the lead in recruiting volunteers, securing food and tool donations, and completing the necessary site preparation. Preparing the playground site required soil tests, utility checks, and securing the appropriate build permits in a timely manner. The Club also prepared to assume ownership, insurance, and maintenance responsibilities for the play space upon completion of the project. Club members took an active role in selecting the colors and components of the play equipment.

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Contact Us

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

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