(WTVM) - The Boys and Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley are making sure students have a great place to go when school lets out each day.
The Great Futures campaign is a nationwide movement being implemented locally.
The goal seeks to ensure that every child and teen has access to a safe place after school and during the summer where they can build the knowledge, skills and behaviors to put them on the path for success.
Every day, 15 million kids nationwide leave school with no place to go, putting them at risk of being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe. During the summer, an alarming 43 million kids in America lack access to summer learning programs, increasing their risk of learning loss and putting them at a disadvantage before the school year starts.
The way a child spends their time after school and during the summer can significantly impact the path they take.
"When the nation prepares to go back to school this fall, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley wants to ensure out-of-school is part of the conversation. We're taking a leadership role with the Great Futures Campaign to elevate the impact of out-of-school time, a critical, yet often overlooked, part of their day," said Rodney Close, Boys & Girls Club CEO. "When school is out, no child should go unsafe or unguided. Through the Campaign, we are advocating on behalf of kids and convening public, private and nonprofit partners around our goal of ensuring all kids have access to a safe, engaging and productive place to go between school and home."
The Great Futures campaign is a response to the crises facing America's kids and is focused on reversing the most negative trends facing youth and the country:
Today's generation is estimated to be worse off than their parents, the first in America's history
Our nation's graduation rate ranks 22nd among 28 countries
Three out of 10 kids are obese or overweight
One in 5 American kids live in poverty
Nationally, the issues have economic implications, costing as much as $209 billion in lost taxes and higher government expenditures over the lifetimes of those who fail to graduate7. Healthcare costs to treat health issues related to childhood obesity are $14.1 billion annually,8 and states spend an average of $7.1 million a day locking youth up in juvenile justice facilities9.
"Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley has been serving the community with afterschool and summer programs for over 75 years. During that time, we've seen the positive impact that occurs when young people have access to a safe place with caring adult mentors and enriching programs during out-of-school time," said Rodney Close. "We want today's generation to be successful in school and in adulthood, to be healthy and active, and to develop strong character skills they need to become future leaders for our country."