Boys and Girls Club members are enjoying a fresh new look at their centre on Fourth Avenue and several new activities and programs.
This week the emphasis will be on the Pink Shirt Day anti-bullying campaign and a youth entertainment and art show.
Members will be taking to the streets tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 28, wearing pink shirts to promote anti-bullying.
“They’ll be walking around downtown looking for people displaying positive behaviour, manners and politeness and giving out small gifts and flowers,” says operations co-ordinator Stefanie Hendrickson.
All month Hendrickson says members have been participating in bullying awareness activities.
Then on Thursday, Feb. 28 the members will present Singing Out Loud: Music, Art and More by Local Youth for the Community.
The free coffee-house style event with snacks and beverages takes place in the Central Cariboo Arts Centre (the old fire hall) from 7 to 9 p.m.
“Young people will provide music and art for the community,” Hendrickson says.
Musician and Boys and Girls Club employee, Carmen Mutschele is organizing the event that will include performances of the spoken word, music, and display of art work.
“We’re also starting to organize the Wii Olympics on April 7 at TRU,” Hendrickson says.
This winter the Boys and Girls Club drop-in centre has also been transformed and updated with new floors and a new paint job with bright new colours to go with the new programs being offered.
The club has launched two new programs Career Launch and the Glass Slipper Boutique for graduating students.
“We’ve started Career Launch, a career prep program for high school students,” Hendrickson says. “It’s more independent than a school-based program. It matches you to various options, helps you with entry skills, resume writing, cover letters, interview skills and helps overcome barriers in the work force and supports job retention.”
She notes Glass Slippers is a free boutique where low-income families can ‘shop’ for gowns, handbags, suits or tuxedos, shoes and accessories for graduation, or other formal events. Participants can also have their nails and hair done professionally.
“Last year the response was great: this is the second year we’ve run it,” she says. “It’s a great collaborations between various agencies. Someone does alterations as needed and Cariboo Quality Cleaners provides free dry cleaning.”
Hendrickson adds that their ‘wish list’ for the Glass Slipper Boutique, located in the upper level of Haines Office World, includes hangers with hooks, cutlery for the kitchen, broom, dustpan, mop, bucket, iron, ironing board, sewing machine with surger, sewing supplies, formal wear patterns, dress form, flower vase, children’s videos or DVDs, velvet curtains, hair salon gift certificates, hair supplies (sprays, irons gels, combs, clips, flowers, feathers), love-seat or couch in black or ‘ velvet’ fabrics, display case with glass doors for jewelry, formal wear for men (suits, tuxes, vests, ties) and ladies’ formal dresses, shawls and dress shoes of all sizes.
The boutique also needs a water cooler for large water containers, a wall clock, a clothing steamer, nail polish, press-on nails and nail decor, a carpet cleaner, shoe shine, umbrellas, mannequins, jewelry and accessories and velvet scrap pieces.
People can also get involved by sponsoring an individual grad by donating a salon certificate.
The after-school program is gearing up for spring break, when kids can participate in things like tubing, gymnastics, crafts, gym days and science activities.
“Our members are all in swimming lessons, funded by Kidsport and get to take cooking classes with chef Brice O’Neill at New World Tea and Coffee,” she added.
Program coordinator Crystal Innes said that one of the main benefits of the after-school programs is providing social opportunities for kids. “There’s a lot to be said for having friends outside the classroom, and a lot more to a relationship than what happens on a school playground. Doing the after school program you build important bonds. We do a lot of different activities like cooking, science and sports. Every child can achieve in certain areas and find their niche – maybe in things they don’t get to excel in at school,” she said.
“We have a lot of kids from different backgrounds who enjoy doing different things. When it’s the day to do the thing they really enjoy, they take a leadership role. They’re all good at something.”
For more information about the Boys and Girls Club, including donating and volunteering for Glass Slipper, phone 250-392-5730.