Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade announced on July 31 the launch of the Great Futures Campaign to mobilize the community in support of kids and empower today’s youth to achieve great futures.
The local club is joining Boys and Girls Clubs nationwide to redefine the opportunity equation for kids by elevating the critical role out-of-school time plays in a child’s development. Through the Great Futures Campaign, the organization seeks to ensure that every child and teen has access to a safe place after school and during the summer where they can build the knowledge, skills and behaviors to put them on the path for success.
Every day, 15 million kids nationwide (one out of three) leave school with no place to go, putting them at risk of being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe. During the summer, an alarming 43 million (three out of four) kids in America lack access to summer learning programs, increasing their risk of learning loss and putting them at a disadvantage before the school year starts. The way a child spends his or her time after school and during the summer can significantly impact the path they take.
“When the nation prepares to go back to school this fall, Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade wants to ensure out-of-school is part of the conversation,” said Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade president Alex Rodriguez-Roig. “We’re taking a leadership role with the Great Futures Campaign to elevate the impact of out-of-school time, a critical, yet often overlooked, part of their day. When school is out, no child should go unsafe or unguided.
“Through the campaign, we are advocating on behalf of kids and convening public, private and nonprofit partners around our goal of ensuring all kids have access to a safe, engaging and productive place to go between school and home.”
A response to the crises facing America’s kids, the campaign is focused on reversing the most negative trends facing youth and the country:
• Today’s generation is estimated to be worse off than the parents, the first in America’s history;
• Our nation’s graduation rate ranks 22nd among 28 countries;
• Three out of 10 kids are obese or overweight, and • One in five American kids live in poverty.
Nationally, the issues have economic implications, costing as much as $209 billion in lost taxes and higher government expenditures over the lifetimes of those who fail to graduate. Healthcare costs to treat health issues related to childhood obesity are $14.1 billion annually, and states spend an average of $7.1 million a day locking up youth in juvenile justice facilities.
“Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been serving the community with after school and summer programs for over 70 years. During that time, we’ve seen the positive impact that occurs when young people have access to a safe place with caring adult mentors and enriching programs during out-of-school time,” Rodriguez-Roig said. “We want today’s generation to be successful in school and in adulthood, to be healthy and active, and to develop strong character skills they need to become future leaders for our country.”
In the comprehensive 2013 Economic Impact of Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami- Dade study, conducted by Damooei Global Research Inc., it was concluded that through its many positive programs, including after school and summer programs, Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade provides an annual overall community impact totaling $78 million in income generations and savings to Miami-Dade County families and taxpayers as a whole. For every dollar spent by the clubs, $18.76 is generated for the community. The study covers high school graduation rates, teen pregnancy rates, the criminal justice system, underage drinking, parental earnings and community output.
The organization is kicking off its annual “Be Great” fundraising campaign, supporting the Great Futures Campaign, at Coral Gables Executive Physicians’ annual fundraiser/cocktail reception solely benefiting Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has a goal to raise $30,000 for “Be Great” that evening, with an overall fundraising goal of $270,000.
For more information about the Great Futures Campaign, visit www.greatfutures.org.