Representatives from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland on Thursday updated the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland with the latest technology while giving them details on their latest accomplishments.
BGCC executive director Charlie Sutton informed the gathered Kiwanians that Meeri Shin will soon be headed to Washington D.C. There she will continue the BGC Youth of the Year competition on the national level. According to Sutton, Shin is set to meet club proponents like Denzel Washington and Michael Phelps. She will also have an opportunity to speak with President Barack Obama.
He said Shin’s winning of the competition would open all kinds of doors for the members in the Cleveland area.
Derrick Kinsey, director of operations, took the opportunity to test the Kiwanis Club’s knowledge of the BGCC.
n There are seven Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland units: James H. Tucker Unit, Reba M. Powers Unit, Cleveland State Unit, Blythe Unit, George Johnson Teen Unit, Benton Unit and the L. Harlan Painter Unit.
n An average of 400 students attend the units on a daily basis.
n There are 20 basketball teams in the BGCC league for young members.
n Students are picked up from 22 schools and dropped off at the clubs on a daily basis.
Kinsey challenged the male members of the Kiwanis Club to become more involved in the lives of the young boys at the clubs.
“We know our boys are not going to make it without us,” Kinsey said. “Men, without us our boys are going to fall by the wayside, and a lot of our boys have.”
Continued Kinsey, “We point fingers and wonder what happened to them. Well, we happened to them. If no one steps up to help them, then they cannot receive help.”
IT Director Mike Thompson then introduced the club’s Stride Academy. The academic, technology-based program merges studies and games. Members log on to the program for a particular subject. They are asked several questions and then rewarded with a game.
“We can assign each member to it based on their grade-level and we can assign math, reading or science questions,” Thompson said. “Based on how the kids are answering the questions [will determine the difficulty].”
Added Thompson, “The program adapts as students answer the questions.”
Kiwanians were then introduced to the clubs’ Legos NXT robots. Lego Robotics Instructor Emily Mabry gave a demonstration on the clubs’ Green Mountain Challenge map. She explained how children interact with the robots.
Young members will soon have the opportunity to use the clubs new robots the EV3s which are the next generation of Legos robotics. According to Thompson, the EV3s will be programmable from the iPads used at the clubs.
Kinsey closed the program by encouraging Kiwanians to check out the volunteer website recently launched through the United Way of Bradley County, volunteerocoee.com.