The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington serves over 20,000 youth in 15 locations across the region mostly in after school programs focused on academics, character building and healthy lifestyles. Gabrielle Webster, its CEO and FC2 Trustee, says that the Club’s “doors open over a million times a year with kids aged 5 to 18 coming in.”
In March, the Club quickly moved to a virtual environment to provide as much normalcy as possible for kids during a stressful time. The Clubhouse @ Your House is a virtual platform where hundreds of kids sign on every day, many on their cell phones, to see their friends and access educational programming. Famous musicians, athletes and alums have dialed in to speak with kids. The platform is now being picked up by other Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.
The Club worked extra hard to open its real-world doors to kids whose parents are essential workers. They needed a place to go while their parents worked. In April, the Club welcomed them back into their physical locations, this time offering all-day support, including two meals a day for kids who are food insecure.
Now every Club location is back, except those at school buildings which remain closed. They opened a new location in a shelter in Prince George’s County to be near children and families struggling with homelessness. Social distancing guidelines are strictly followed in all locations. Each Club has been given a broadband boost so that the kids can be online all at once. Demand is soaring and all locations in Wards 7 and 8 now have a waiting list.
After COVID, Gabrielle would like to welcome Trustees to come visit a Club location.
If you would like to learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, you can contact Gabrielle Webster at firstname.lastname@example.org.