Pitchfork Press

Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute 2012

Boys and Girls Club provides safe environment

World-famous actor Denzel Washington holds a great impact as an official spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He grew up attending a local club in the state of New York, and has remained loyal to the organization, which is committed to aiding youth as they grow from small children to high school graduates. He supports it because “it’s a safe, comfortable, loving environment.”

Boys & Girls Club has spread across America and throughout the world with many clubs located in Arizona, particularly in the Phoenix area.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America work to bring youth off the streets and keep them active with fun, informative, and engaging games and programs designed for all ages.

“It’s a great place for kids” and “Though it can be crazy, I love working here,” Gilbert branch director Sandi Dial said.

A local Boys & Girls Club supports the community

The Phoenix area is aided by the presence of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. In particular, the I.G. Holmes branch just south of downtown Phoenix serves an older section of the city and has proudly been in existence for over 50 years.

Like all branches, I.G. Holmes is dedicated to boys and girls of all ages. It has a Learning Center to aid local students in their studies during the school year, and in addition it has a dedicated teen center with couches and TVs to entertain teens and draw them into community. One unique feature is the Dave Pratt Dental Clinic, which provides dental service to an underserviced area.

“The programs we do are really key to our success,” Program Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley Michelle Duenas said.

She is very excited by the increasing opportunities for youth and is “thankful for the help [they] get.” The sponsorships and aid that come into the Boys and Girls Clubs are the reason why clubs like the I.G. Holmes branch can help kids and fulfill their promise that “Bright Futures Start Here”.

-Caleb Peckham, Staff Reporter

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