Education and community support is kind of a big deal for all of us at Rocket City Mom. If you joined us earlier this year at our Learning Expo, you probably already know that. What you may not know is that thanks to our partnership with Earlyworks Museum and presenting sponsor Progress Bank, this year’s expo raised lots of money that we can then give right back into our community! Thanks to the hard work of so many, we were able to donate $4,000 to this year’s Community Education Grant winner – the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama!
Since it’s inception in 2013, the proceeds from each year’s Learning Expo have been donated to various local educational non-profits including Village of Promise, Huntsville Madison County Public Library, Sci-Quest, Fantasy Children’s Playhouse, Free 2 Teach and Space Camp Scholarship Program. We look for non-profits that are helping elevate the educational experience of area children, so the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama was an obvious choice for this year’s award.
Want to know why?
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama
12 Clubs – 900 Kids a Day!
And that’s just the average number of kids our local Boys & Girls Clubs serve during the school year – in the summer they can see up to 1,200 kids daily!
BGCNA offers a variety of programs for kids: academic success, character & leadership, and healthy lifestyles are the three variables that drive them. This isn’t glorified daycare either. They have 12 clubs here in North Alabama that are open daily, each one tailored specifically for the neighborhood. Every Club has full and part-time youth development professionals, providing positive role models and mentors. Membership dues are affordable, and clubs reach out to kids who may lack access to other community programs. This has proven to be incredibly important to Huntsville and Madison County families.
We want to help support programs that work hard to provide quality activities and care for kids after school.
Recognizing Leadership in Youth
Local Clubs recognize members ages 14 to 18 as Youth of the Month winners and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state, region, and national competitions for scholarships ranging from $1,000 – $50,000.
It’s no small thing to win this award, and this year’s North Alabama winner is Carl Ross, a senior at Lee High School. Carl’s story is incredibly inspiring – this remarkable young man experienced loss, homelessness, and overcame incredible odds to become an honors student. He is involved in many educational and leadership organizations and has been accepted into every college that he has applied to.
We want to help support the programs that support kids like Carl.
Summer Camps Full of STEM
The BGCNA Williams Club is home to one of Huntsville’s best-kept STEM secrets… The STEM Center of Innovation. Their summer camps and year-round classes are run by Angela O’Neil, STEM Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama – you might remember her as Sci-Quest’s Education Director! Their lab is unique and really cool – if you haven’t checked it out yet with your kids, this summer is a great time to do that.
We want to support STEM programs for kids in Madison County.
CEO Patrick Wynn said it best: “What we do here is something no other agency in North Alabama does. Boys & Girls Club embeds itself in the neighborhood with bricks-and-mortar locations and becomes part of a child’s Village.”
BGCNA doesn’t just facilitate programs, they host them around the corner from where kids live and provide them with a safe space with qualified professionals to mentor, help with homework, serve a snack, play a game, or provide guidance. There’s no other place like it.
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Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.