No vandalism with graffiti art program

No vandalism with graffiti art program

 

By Marcus Anstey for United Way of Lethbridge and South Western Alberta

 

A place where kids can be kids, have fun, chill and relax. Does a place like this even exist? The answer to that is “yes”. Believe it or not, there is a place in Lethbridge exactly like this.

The Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge provides a safe environment where youth can come in and socialize. The club offers a variety of options ranging from daycare to youth nights.

They serve more than 200 children and youth ages 5-18 every week with programs like Kinder Club, Daze End, Youth Drop-In, and Rogers Raising the Grade.

During the day the building is filled with little munchkins in daycare running around and having fun. Later on in the day, the building is completely transformed for teens 11-18. The kindergarten toys are put away and out come the skateboards, sound system and other teen friendly activities.

“We take the building and transform it into a place where teens would want to be,” says the club’s youth services director Byron Dent.

The drop-in nights are their most popular nights.

“We usually have around 150 kids per week,” says Dent.

Drop-in nights consist of activities such as skateboarding, basketball, dodgeball and other fun activities for teens.  Every drop-in night there are up to 20 volunteers that help set up and supervise.

“The volunteers are our biggest help. We wouldn’t be able to do it without volunteers,” says Dent.

Although drop-in nights are very popular and a huge success, there are other activities that happen on Wednesdays and Thursdays. On those nights youth can come in and get help with their homework at the homework drop-in the Mentor Assist Transform (The MAT) program offers.

The Boys and Girls Club is a great place for youth in Lethbridge. It gives them a place where they can be themselves. They have the opportunity to have fun, let loose or just hang out.

One way to let loose at the club is by taking part in graffiti nights. What is a graffiti night you might ask? Well, it’s a night where they get to have fun with spray paint and a wall that they have designated for the specific activity.

“It lets the kids have fun spray painting without vandalizing anything,” says Dent.

Approximately 10 per cent of Lethbridge’s youth attend the events hosted by the club.

For more information on The Boys and Girls Club you can visit www.thematlethbridge.com or www.bgclethbridge.com.

To make a donation to the Boys and Girls Club through United Way please click HERE.