Boys & Girls Club Presentation: President Mary introduced Keri Hartley, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for the Boys & Girls Club, who spoke to members about how our funding has helped this fine organization.  Our support, she said, will be used for transportation – getting kids to and from various events and field trips. Keri said that without our financial help, kids would only be able to go to events within walking distance, and while downtown Adrian is wonderful with its library and Historical Museum, she said, it doesn’t make for a very exciting summer for these kids. Trips this summer will include: local colleges and dairy farms, the MJR Theater, a Mud Hens game, local parks and the Toledo Zoo among others.
The Boys & Girls Club, she said, has become the kids’ summer break, summer experience, and vacation all rolled up into one! Keri said that 98% of the kids who participate in B & G Club activities successfully move up to the next grade level. She said that the club typically serves between 130-160 kinds per year!! Keri also explained a new program – Summer Brain Game, that help kids retain information they receive during a normal school year. "This program gets them excited about going back to school each fall". Keri concluded her presentation by sharing details of the Boys & Girls Club biggest fundraising event – the upcoming 10th annual Blue Jean Ball scheduled for Friday, September 11 at Adrian College’s Docking Field from 6:30pm – 11:00pm. The event will feature stadium food stations, a live auction, and entertainment by Brena.
Kindergarten Readiness Presentation: President Mary next introduced Christine McNaughton, Community Impact Manager for the United Way, who brought members up to date on the Kindergarten Readiness program our club supported this past year. Also on hand was Lisa Eack, Parent Liaison for Lenawee Great Start Collaborative. Christine said that the UW has chosen three areas to focus on this year: Education, Financial Stability, and Health and decided to partner with our club - Kindergarten Readiness. Christine said that she believed that in order to be successful in school, in order to insure that all students graduate, children must enter kindergarten ready to learn. If not, it is one of the root causes of so many critical issues later in life.
Christine said that there was a big problem in Lenawee County - and that was that there was no one common measurement tool that existed that could determine if any child was ready for kindergarten in spite of the fact that teachers across this county do have tools, but they are all different. Consequently, the education community was not able to recognize where the “gaps” were so that child care and home day care centers could address issues with children before they go to kindergarten. Christine went on to say that Christy Cadmus from the Lenawee Great Start Collaborative met with many kindergarten teachers over many months to explore what a consistent tool could be used to assess readiness. All of them agreed on one - the Brigance system.
Lisa spoke next and said that 36 child care providers in the county were contacted of which 11 responded that they were interested in being trained in July on the new screening process and receiving their official assessment kit that the recent donation from our club went toward purchasing. Both Lisa and Christine think this is just the start of something big as they will continue to get more and more day care providers on board with a tool that is consistent county-wide in evaluating the readiness of pre-kindergarten youngsters in Lenawee County!