A Positive Place for Kids

Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County are giving fresh hope to the youngsters who need it most.
Members joined in the groundbreaking celebration for the new 30,000-square-foot clubhouse on 17th Avenue across from the Freshman Learning Center. Along with a new facility currently under construction in Fellsmere, the Sebastian clubhouse and Teen Center in Vero Beach, the Boys & Girls Clubs will soon be able to serve more than 3,000 children.

When the last school bell of the day rings at 3 p.m. nearly 18,000 children throughout the county leave their classrooms. Some head home where a parent or caregiver is waiting, some participate in an extracurricular program, and others go off to work – yet far too many are left on their own. Without adult supervision or access to an after-school program, they are in danger of either becoming the victim of a crime or committing a crime themselves. Ronnie Hewett is in the business of seeing that that doesn’t happen.

“Studies have shown that kids who belong to the Boys & Girls Clubs are less likely to get involved with gangs, drugs and alcohol, and are much more likely to stay in school and graduate,” says Hewett, president and CEO of the county-wide organization. “When children come to the Club they can expect to find four important things – a fun, clean and safe environment; a variety of  programs that meet their needs and interests; fair and consistent discipline, and professional staff and volunteers who really care about them and want them to succeed in life.

What sets us apart is that we are the only county-wide, facility-based youth development organization that provides programs every day after school and all day during the summer.

Read the entire article in the April 2010 issue