Volume 13 | September 10, 2019
Leveling Up!

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities' Literacy Program helps to ensure that all members are reading at their appropriate grade level and mastering the skills necessary to transition from  learning to read  to  reading to learn. Hands-on, multi-sensory literacy activity stations for all K-3 members focus on phonics, spelling, language structure, and vocabulary to reinforce skills needed in reading. Pull-out reading groups utilizing the Sonday Reading System provides intensive small group literacy instruction for K-6 members who have been assessed as needing focused reading support. The program utilizes the Fastbridge FAST reading assessment tool that measures reading scores as compared to national benchmark scores for grade level: High Risk (20th percentile and below), Some Risk (21st-30th percentile), Low Risk (31st-85th percentile), and College Pathway (above 80th percentile).

Meet some of our  Level Up  members, youth from each Club who have made huge improvements in their reading scores and moved up at least one level over the summer!

  • Janessa (4th grade, Al Lenzmeier West Side Club) leveled up from High Risk to the Some Risk category and improved her cumulative score by 21 points.
  • Max (kindergarten, East Side Club) leveled up from Some Risk to the College Pathway category and improved his cumulative score by 28 points.
  • Isaiah (1st grade, Southside Village Club) leveled up from Some Risk to the College Pathway category and improved his cumulative score by 18 points.
  • Valeah (3rd grade, Mt. Airy Club) leveled up from the High Risk to Some Risk category and has increased her cumulative score by 28 points.
  • Victor (kindergarten, Jerry Gamble Club) leveled up from Some Risk to the College Pathway category and improved his cumulative score by 35 points.

Congratulations to our amazing kids on their hard work and great results - let's keep Leveling Up in the new school year!
Al Lenzmeier West Side Club: Janessa
East Side Club: Max
Southside Village Club: Isaiah
Mt. Airy Club: Valeah
Jerry Gamble Club: Victor
As we begin a new school year, your support is critical in our efforts to fully realize the many gifts and talents our kids have, and to build on our thriving programs. This fall and into the coming year, we want our kids to have abundant support, opportunity, and guidance to achieve their dreams, just like our Level Up! youth have received in our Literacy program.

We need your help  NOW  so that we can stay prepared when our kids walk into the Clubs after their day at school. A donation to Success Ahead! will provide hundreds of Club members with focused literacy intervention, support the continued launch of our Numeracy Program, and help our teens stay on track to timely graduation and discovering their future paths.

We are very grateful to Jerry & Diane Carlson for supporting our mission with a $50,000 dollar-for-dollar match on contributions during our back-to-school campaign. Please consider making a recurring or one-time donation and help our kids find Success Ahead!
Mark Graves: Hometown Hero

Mark Graves, branch director of the Southside Village Club, was recognized by the Vikings as the Hometown Hero of the game at their preseason matchup vs. Seattle on August 24. The team invited Mark and five guests to enjoy the game from a special sideline suite. To honor him for his long-time service and dedication to the youth and families of South Minneapolis, the Vikings recognized Mark during halftime with a special video presentation. Watch it here!

Mark has been with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities for over 30 years and has had an incredible influence on thousands of young people. We are lucky to have Mark in our BGCTC family!
Teen Pathways Entrepreneur Program at the Jerry Gamble Club
Guided by the objectives of the Teen Pathways program at our Jerry Gamble Club, Teen Specialist Damien Markham developed a project-based curriculum that would both meet our program objectives and get teens excited about attending every day! Teens began by exploring their own learning styles, likes and dislikes, laying a foundation for all aspects of the program model. Once the foundation was established, Damien used the Grammy Family Tee project to teach leadership, professional development, and social skills. Teens were responsible for ordering t-shirts, inventory management, finance, and sales using the revenue generated as start-up funds for their next project, which focused on small businesses. 

The Small Business project began with each teen pitching an idea for a business to a mock board of "angel investors" in a Shark Tank-type setup. Out of all the teens’ ideas, four were chosen, with runner-up teens named as members of the chosen business’ workforce. A few program highlights:

  • Grammy Family T-Shirt Sales = $1,000. Damiana Sharp made over $350 and Tommy Gilkey made $275.
  • Catering Service = $300+. Launched by Monteayana Ross, this service sold individual lunches to the community.
  • A chip company started by Thomas Gilkey and Radarius Gwynn is still in the research and development phase – they are busy choosing the best chip flavors and the ideal potato!
  • A soda pop company organized by Devontae White is also still in the R&D phase.
Feed My Starving Children:
Food Pack Challenge

On August 14, five teams of Club kids led by our board members visited Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) for a food pack challenge! This friendly competition strengthened the relationships between Club youth and adult mentors and reinforced the importance of volunteerism and community engagement. In a mere two hours, Club teams packed 2,800 meals and raised $6,000 for FMSC and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities!

  • The Mt. Airy team raised the most money and will be attending the Twins game on September 21. They'll be watching the game from the elite FOX Sports North Suite!
  • The East Side team packed the most meals and won a pizza party.
  • The Southside Village team won the Most Enthusiastic prize and will enjoy an ice cream party!

Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to board member Mike Dimond of FOX Sports North for organizing this fun challenge for our kids!
Welcome, Richfield Public Schools!

We are proud to announce the opening of two new Club locations in partnership with the Richfield Public School District and the Beacons Network ! Beginning on October 21, Centennial Elementary School and Richfield Middle School will both be home to fully-staffed Clubs available after school hours for students to study, explore new educational opportunities, and enjoy social activities with their peers.

BGCTC Richfield Branch Director Bob Slater says that the feedback from parents and educators alike has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic! Following early registrations taken at both schools' open house events, he anticipates that the new Clubs will serve a total of around 200 students in the programs' initial stages.
Amelia Hardy: An Influential Woman

One of our board members, Amelia Hardy, was recently named one of the 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine ! Amelia Hardy is the Senior Director at Best Buy in the Health Office, and she has more than 18 years of leadership experience at Fortune 100 companies. In addition, Amelia is significantly involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives at Best Buy and within her community. Congratulations, Amelia!
Another Grand Slam!

Our Grand Slam Dinner was a huge success once again! With the help of our guests and sponsors, we raised nearly $90,000 to help fund our Clubs and support our youth programs.

We give a huge Thank You to the Minnesota Twins for giving their time to make this event a spectacular success, and to our generous sponsors for their gracious support of our kids and our mission.

View the event photo album HERE!
For the Kids!

Friday, October 11
US Bank Stadium

Our largest annual fundraiser, For the Kids! , provides an opportunity to celebrate the uniqueness of our youth and our commitment to helping them reach their full potential. It is an enjoyable evening that gives our supporters an opportunity to learn about the amazing young people who attend our Clubs. The event features inspirational Club kid performances and speeches that showcase their many talents and aspirations, sought-after silent and live auction items, and delicious food!

Visit our website or contact Amy Kuehn for more information.
You Can Change a Child's Life

With your support, we can continue to provide life-changing academic, leadership, and healthy lifestyles programming to youth across the Twin Cities.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities | 651-726-2582 | info@bgc-tc.org | boysandgirls.org