It is with absolute pride that we announce the
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley's
2019 Youth of the Year, Renee Rossi!
Renee has been a member of the Gardiner Clubhouse since she was six years old. Today she tutors teen members in out CLC program and is the Vice President of the Keystone Club. Renee hopes that she can encourage youth to preserve and appreciate the planet. She also hope to be an advocate for families separated by deportation.
We know the statistics: Nearly one in five children in the Kennebec Valley live at or below the poverty level. Parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, but sometimes, it’s not enough. That’s where The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley steps in.
The Club opens its doors five days a week to serve our community’s kids in need. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley is a home away from home where educated adults care for infants, children, and teens when their parents and caregivers cannot. It’s a place where a single working mother knows her children will get homework help and supervised play time before and after school. It’s a place where a hungry kid gets a hot meal.
Did you know? Research shows that a child's first three years are the most important in terms of human brain development. During the first few years, the brain is wired for all learning and is more receptive and responsive to experiences than it will ever be again. Children entering pre-k and kindergarten with strong social-emotional, cognitive, and language skills are much more likely to succeed in school and life.
Poverty matters: Almost 50% of young children in low-income families live with a single parent, while only 14% in above low-income families do. In the absence of protective relationships, serious, prolonged elevated stress responses most often associated with poverty, domestic violence, and substance abuse are very damaging to healthy brain development.
- MELIG (Maine Early Learning Investment Group): A Plan to Elevate Maine's Economy by Transforming Communities Through Strategic Quality Early Childhood Investments
In One Member’s Words:
“Having come to The Club for the last twelve years, I have witnessed the struggles many kids have had to go through. I have seen my peers placed into the foster care system. I have seen the effect that divorce has on kids and I have seen the embarrassment of a friend having a parent become incarcerated. I have been coming to the Club throughout personal struggles of my own. As “Club Kids” we have grown to celebrate together, cry together, experience opportunity together and even mourn together. The Club is where family exists when your own fails you. This is what The Boys & Girls Club means to me.” – Jada Lin