What We Do
Our organization was founded in 1996 as Boys & Girls Club of Michigan City. Since then, we have been working to help our community’s young people, especially those who need us most, reach their full potential as productive, caring responsible citizens.
In 2020, we changed our name to Boys & Girls Clubs of La Porte County to demonstrate our commitment to exploring how we can best serve our entire community. In 2021, we expanded from three Clubs in Michigan City to five Clubs throughout La Porte County with the addition of new sites in Westville and Kingsford Heights. Moving forward, we will continue to enhance the impactful programming we are already providing while also looking for opportunities to meet needs elsewhere in the county. We see unlimited possibilities for the future!
At each of our 5 sites (Charles R. Westcott Club, Springfield Club Extension, Pine Club Extension, Westville Club and Kingsford Heights Club), members receive access to homework help, mentoring, sports and recreation programs, arts experiences, computer technology, community service opportunities and so much more. Our programs include the following.
Homework Help/Tutoring provides Club members with opportunities for daily homework assistance and/or educational activities. Approximately 75% show improvement of at least 15% in reading, math or both. We see the best outcomes for Club members who attend regularly.
Career Explorations focuses on post-graduation options. Our Virtual Job Shadowing program uses technology to expose members to a wide range of careers – from welder to paleontologist to author to chef. Members learn about careers of interest, plus the education/training necessary to achieve them.
Power Hour allows Club members of all ages to complete homework or other learning activities in a controlled environment with a Youth Development Professional on hand to provide support. Members earn a “Power Hour” point for each day of participation. Those who receive 25 points gain access to a special celebratory pizza party which is held two or three times per year at each site.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Enrichment is offered regularly at each of our sites. Our Westcott Club features a dedicated STEM MakerSpace thanks to a generous grant from the Arconic Foundation! During STEM time, Club members make slime, build stomp rockets, participate in LEGO challenges and much more.
Character & Citizenship
Volunteering teaches Club members to give back to their community and express gratitude. Examples of volunteering initiatives include writing letters to nursing home residents, cleaning up litter around the Elston school building and creating safety posters for use at school.
Respect Bucks is a rewards program developed by our team. Members receive “Respect Bucks” when they are caught making good choices or being kind/helpful without prompting. Several times a year we hold a party where members can cash in their Respect Bucks. The more Respect Bucks they have earned, the more toppings they can put on their ice cream!
SMART Moves helps Club members learn resistance skills, good decision-making and how to become responsible citizens. SMART stands for Skills Mastery and Resilience Training. We offer three different curriculums to ensure lessons are delivered in an age-appropriate manner: Kid SMART (6 to 9 year-olds), Start SMART (10 to 12 year-olds) and Stay SMART (13 to 15 year-olds).
SMART Decisions includes SMART Girls and Passport to Manhood. These programs help 8 to 17 year-old Club members learn to make healthy choices for themselves and their bodies. Topics include health, fitness, character and community service.
Triple Play is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s comprehensive health and wellness program, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We ensure all Club members get moving regularly through sports, games and exercise sessions. Healthy Habits activities focus on nutritional topics like portion size, calories, vitamins, minerals and healthy food choices.
Food Program – All Club members receive nutritious after school snacks during their time at our Clubs. Summer Club members receive breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Snacks and meals are always free to Club members