Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lilly Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis

I am so impressed with the staff of Lilly Boys and Girls Club. Lilly serves children ages 5-18, all year round. Durning the school year kids come after school until 8pm, and are given a snack and dinner. During the summer their camp program runs from 9am to 6pm, and they serve lunch and snack.
It costs $25 per kid, for the whole summer! (compared to $100 a week at the local YMCA, only four blocks away) Most of Lilly's funding comes from government grants and such. Lilly Boys and Girls Club is in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis. In fountain square the average value of a home is $15,000. Two blocks east, the homes jump to an average of $115,000. In the summer the camp averages around 135 kids a day. 72% of which come from single parent homes, and 60% are living at or below the poverty level.
Each day from 9am to 4pm the staff runs a program for the kids. After that it's usually free time until the kids get picked up. The day starts with a Rally in the gym where we say the club pledge and the Pledge of Allegiance. After that the kids are split up by ages and sent to different rooms. They spend 25 minutes in each room and rotate from one to another, with a break in there for lunch The rooms are: craft room, gym, multi-purpose room, computer room, game room, park (outside), and the learning center.
Our two crews co
E from 9-3 every day. We get to roam around and assist leaders and kids with daily activities. It has been a pleasure being able to work alongside such a great, caring, and giving staff. It's so fun to be able to build relationships with the kids there. The first day I spend the day with the five and six year olds. I felt like I was back at school with my kindergarteners. Today I spent most of my day with the 7 and 8 year olds. We had a lot of fun talking about our families and home life.
In the morning I showed up to camp wearing pink and with my hair down. I sat on the sideline and watched the 13-18 year olds play some 5 on 5 basketball. Once their game was done I asked if I could join. They all laughed at me and then said a reserved, "sure." I quickly tied my hair up and joined the game. After a few minutes I was hearing things like, "Boy!! She schooled you!" and "You can't even stop a girl!!" needless to say the teenage guys ally say hi to me now, and will have real conversations with me. I look forward to the next couple days. Hopefully I can have a few more meaningful conversations.
Here are a few more photos: one of my crew, one of both our crews and some of the kids, and some of the learning center

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