The Carter County branches of the Boys and Girls Club are offering their MyFuture program to club members and non-club members this summer.
MyFuture is a mobile-friendly social platform that gives kids access to multiple boys and girls activities in areas such as leadership, STEM, and art. The platform gives kids and teens a chance to connect with their friends, learn new skills, earn rewards and enter contests. The programs on MyFuture are accessible to everyone, whether or not they are club members.
“You can use it anywhere, anytime and on any device,” said Amy Miller of the Boys and Girls Wilson unit. “You don’t have to be a club member to participate, and it’s something that should be shared. MyFuture was designed for truly great user experiences. There are tons of activities for the kids that they can do at home.
Miller said MyFuture allows Boys and Girls club staff to create events for children and connect them with children from other Boys and Girls club units or those who are not members.
“It’s just a good way for us to get our message out,” Miller said. “There are always contests, but it’s our big thing for this summer. We are really trying to get that out because it helps involve the kids who are at home with their parents. Or if they are at home without their parents and have nothing to do.
After:Ardmore organizations strive to create positive life experiences for historically oppressed communities
Miller said the pandemic has made it more difficult for them to serve children. Last summer, the club grew from around 120 participants to just 25. The Carter County branches were still struggling to maintain numbers even when school began.
“However, we’ve gotten over that right now,” Miller said. “Our numbers are actually very good. This summer, I have more children than the previous summers before COVID. There are numbers of us and we are where we were before we started before COVID. In fact, we’re doing pretty well.
The organization was able to return to its normal numbers, Miller said, because it was sticking to CDC protocols. They have policies in place like cleaning between sessions, sanitizing and checking temperatures.
After:Restoring Lives offers summit to help girls move on to college
“We had to make rules that kids might no longer be able to play with a particular device or toy because it can’t be disinfected that easily,” Miller said. “Overall, getting ready for the numbers to be bigger, this year I just thought we were going to be who we were before COVID and just move on. ”
As they work to attract more kids to the club, Miller said the Boys and Girls branches in Carter County are offering plenty of programs this summer. Wilson Unit has partnered with Grace Center and Ardmore Unit has partnered with a bank to deliver a financial literacy class for teens.
In addition to money matters, the club also offers a junior staff program for teens ages 13-18, aimed at developing a strong work ethic, a sense of community engagement and interpersonal skills, and teaching a physical fitness and improved self-esteem. program called Smart Girls for girls of three different age groups.
“The MyFuture thing is a big deal for us right now,” Miller said. “This is our way of reaching the children who are not around us and who are still at home. ”