Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Boys and Girls Club - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Boys and Girls Club

By Joe Birch - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A spectacular renovation at the Samuelson Boys and Girls Club in Berclair has youngsters enjoying foosball, ping pong, pool, computers, basketball and more.    

Five Boys and Girls Clubs serve 5,000 children in Memphis.

"This place means so much to me," Memphis teen Hope Dennis said.

Dennis credits the Boys and Girls Club for helping her work out of shyness to become a confident, outgoing young lady - her club's "youth of the year."

"I want to be a teacher," she said.

To reach the estimated 100,000 at-risk Memphis kids between ages six and eighteen, plans are being discussed with superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash to place new Boys and Girls Clubs inside Memphis City Schools!

"Whether it's in a school program or whether it's partnering with a church, that we are identifying all types of ways that we can make an impact on the city of Memphis," said the Club's Tonya Bradley.

For example, a new club will open at the Sycamore View Church of Christ in August, and more clubs will be opening where kids have moved.

"You give structure," said Nathan Walkers of the Harbortown 5K. "You give some accountability. You give life skills. You give communication skills. Interaction. I mean, everything they would like to do is here."

Even a health check up...it qualifies more than 400 Memphis Boys and Girls Club members to attend Camp Phoenix, a week long experience at Sardis Lake in Mississippi.

"We provide so much for the kids, and to be able to have an impact on a child, that's my job," Bradley said. "I think I have one of the most important jobs in the world: being able to make a thumbprint on the life of a child and trying to make a difference."

The Boys and Girls Club says 95 percent of its members graduate from high school. Instead of possibly joining gangs and getting into trouble, Boys and Girls Club members are learning to become the kind of people who'll be Taking back Our Neighborhoods.

The Harbortown 5K takes place at 7pm Friday night, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to send Memphis children to the boys and girls club camp Phoenix this summer.

To learn more about it, click here: http://www.harbortown5k.racesonline.com/

Click here to learn more about the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis.


Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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