DAGSBORO – On routine school days, buses arrive at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Dagsboro Boys & Girls Club, based on the Dagsboro Church of God property on U.S. 113.
On any given day, more than 100 youth participate in club activities, social and academic programs.
“On a daily basis, our average attendance is about 126; Monday through Friday,” said Betty Harmon, Dagsboro Boys & Girls Club Unit Director.
This year, club members are in the running for Youth of the Month honors, based on six grade categories.
“We are beginning our year by highlighting distinguished club members for their achievements academically, in our classrooms, and in our local communities,” said Marie Hudson, the club’s education director. “It’s an ongoing program that we implemented in years past. We brought the program back and we are implementing it now in 2017.”
Students are nominated by classroom teachers. The present schools include Phillip Showell Elementary, East Millsboro Elementary, Millsboro Middle School, John M. Clayton Elementary, Selbyville Middle School, Lighthouse Christian and Southern Delaware School of the Arts.
“They bring nominations to us. The majority of the decision is weighted on academics and behavior,” said Ms. Hudson.
Last year, Dagsboro Boys & Girls Club did not have a Youth of the Month program.
“The last time we selected youth was 2014. Then with staff turnover and everything changes, we implemented it back into the program,” said Ms. Harmon. “Last year we did a Junior Youth of the Month. They have to write an essay about what the Boys & Girls Club means to them.”
The Junior Youth of the Month program includes a Junior Youth of the Year, which will be celebrated in March with selection of the local club winner by a panel of judges.
Six candidates – three males and three females – are chosen from fourth through seventh grade classes. The candidates go on to compete against each other on the basis of their portfolio, their essay, conversation with a panel of judges, who chose the “the overall best candidate that exemplifies leadership.”
“The hopes of our Youth of the Month is that we are kind of prepping them for when they get into fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grade to be able to compete for Junior Youth of the Year,” said Erica Adkins, Dagsboro’s child care director.
Student portfolios include their report cards, speeches, and letters of recommendation
“They have to get mentors for that, for help with their speech,” said Ms. Hudson.
Typical day at Dagsboro BG Club
Thirty minutes of snack time/free play to blow off some steam precedes the Power Hour, which is devoted to homework help.
“Now, with a lot of the schools taking homework out of their schedules we now do more of a supplementation, basically whatever they are not getting in school,” said Ms. Hudson.
On our out of school days, there are various educational activities, such as spelling contests, brain games, Geography, critical thinking.
“We have different centers that we run, so when they have done their homework, they can break out into the different centers that we have,” Ms. Hudson said. “We do try to a lot of math and science with them. We have volunteers that are retired art teachers. We bring them in and they do different things with the kids as well. Basically, we are kind of partnering with (schools) to get the kids what they need … social skills, life skills.”
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