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Study finds Boys & Girls Clubs a Good Community Investment

Written by Michael Peterson

Alachua County – A newly commissioned study by Boys & Girls Clubs of America found these clubs are a sound investment, providing nearly $10 in benefits to the community for every $1 invested.

The study, conducted by the Institute for Social Research and the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, found that every $1 invested in Boys & Girls Clubs returns $9.60 in current and future earnings, as well as cost savings, to American communities.

The biggest benefits are from club members’ improved grades and reduced alcohol use, and their parents’ earnings. Collectively on a national level, clubs spend $1.4 billion annually on operating costs, resulting in $13.8 billion in lifetime benefits to youth, families and society. According to the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County, they spend nearly $1 million dollars annually which results in roughly $10 million in lifetime benefits to our community.

“We were thrilled, but not surprised, to receive the results of this study,” said Scott Monnett, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County. “We have long known how valuable the club is to our community, but it’s great to have independent confirmation of the benefits clubs provide, not only to young people, but to their parents and the community as well.”

The study is the first national return on investment estimate for Boys & Girls Clubs. Researchers made use of newly available youth outcomes data, collected through surveys of club members across the country, to examine how the costs required to provide club programming compare to the long­term benefits for youth and families in economic terms.

The study indicates that Boys & Girls Club services and programs produce tremendous value for youths, families and their communities. Clubs help increase the earning power of parents, as well as of youth when they become adults. They also contribute to major savings for society by helping to prevent costly expenditures for health care, public assistance programs, and criminal justice system involvement and incarceration.

“Boys & Girls Clubs fill the gap between school and home, providing safe environments where kids have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and form supportive relationships with peers and caring adults,” Monnett said.

In support the Boys & Girls Club have a couple of events and campaign launches taking place in the next few weeks. First on April 16th they are hosting the 1st Classic Car Show and 50’s Sock Hop at the Northwest Unit from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. This is a family fundraising event with a kid’s fun area, classic car show and unique sock hop event. Secondly, the Club will be launching the Success Past 3 Campaign and initiative focused on raising funds to support Club youth by providing resources for programs in the areas of academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles. Information on both can be found at www.myboysandgirlsclub.com or by calling 352-372-5342.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Alachua County
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Alachua County is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. In 2015, over 3,600 local youth benefited from Club programs in three key areas – Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character and Citizenship. Club programs are offered at the Southeast Rotary Unit, Woodland Park Unit and Northwest Unit

About the author

Michael Peterson

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