More than two dozen clubs came together in the Tri-Cities to celebrate National Boys and Girls Club week. The week-long event saw community members highlighting local Clubs supporting youth in their communities. Clubs throughout Benton and Franklin counties wrapped up their celebrations Friday.
There are 27 Boys and Girls Clubs throughout Benton and Franklin counties serving over 2,200 youth each year. They hosted special programs and activities this week as part of the event, according to a news release.
“National Boys and Girls Club week is an opportunity for clubs across the nation to celebrate youth development and investing in kids all at the same time,” said Brian Ace, Benton and Franklin counties Boys and Girls Club executive director.
Ace said there were multiple activities for youth to celebrate the week, such as a pin and collage decorating activity on Monday and a soccer tournament on Tuesday.
Each club in Tri-Cities adds their own aspect of celebration to their activities, and adds fun for the adults working for the clubs as well. Activities included a lip sync contest between staff, judged by kids in the program.
National Boys and Girls Club Week serves almost like a spirit week for youth and staff with people dressing up and prizes being handed out, Ace said.
In previous years, Ace has enjoyed seeing different sites get together and collaborate with each other.
Ace said that often the programs exist in their own little bubble, but club week lets kids come together with teens and elementary aged kids they wouldn’t normally interact with to celebrate and have fun.
“That’s probably the most rewarding thing that I see over the years,” he said.
Ace said one of his passions is working with children and he enjoys watching staff encourage and invest in members of the Boys and Girls Club. It’s also important to him to create an open, safe and inclusive environment.
“Kids just feel celebrated, families feel celebrated, our staff feels celebrated,” he said.