The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command’s Boys and Girls Club offers after school programming for children ages 6-18, and for the last year and half, instead of just their usual after school and summer programming, the club been open all day every day.
The mission of TSA Boys and Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people by focusing on academic success, promoting healthy lifestyles, and developing character and leadership - disguised in fun.
Melissa Brown, the Area Director of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, spends her time fundraising, promoting community awareness, leading the staff, grant writing, reporting, as well as overseeing and developing programs. As lead person, she shared what is currently happening at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club.
Summer camps were offered daily this summer, offering field trips and STEAM projects, basketball and soccer youth leagues, as well as fine arts classes. The kids completed a production of “Ever After: Another Cinderella Story."
This year, the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club’s main focus areas have been social and emotional health.
“We all have struggled, due to last year, so, we have incorporated emotional training, like, how to set goals and how to be kind partners with Red Rock Behavioral Health,” she said.
The character and leadership development program consists of a Key Club where the older kids plan and attend service projects outside of the Boys and Girls Club. Another way that they demonstrate leadership is in coordinating events for the younger youth within the club and participate in national conferences, giving speeches about what the club means to them.
This summer, the Boys and Girls Club youth were surprised with a $100 shopping spree at Academy Sports and Outdoors. They were able to buy football cleats, fishing rods and many other things for themselves or their loved ones, which further promoted the club’s healthy lifestyle initiatives.
The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club has been in existence over 60 years. The collaboration with Salvation Army has been a unique opportunity to not only offer programs, but to also connect the families to Salvation Army resources, should they need those.
The after-school program will start back up in August. The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oklahoma is located at 2808 SE 44th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73129. Visit salvationarmyokcac.org/boys-girls-club/ or contact Melissa Brown at (405) 246-1125.