- Business Advocacy
Boys and Girls Club STEM program. From left are facilitator Austin Locurto, Betty Navarro, Carlysia Martinez, and Brooklyn Castaneda.
The Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley is a grouping of several local clubs that share resources and expertise to augment the offerings of each individual clubhouse. Their locations include Monterey Park, Baldwin Park, La Puente, as well as Ramona Gardens, Estrada Courts, and the William Mend clubhouses in Los Angeles.
On March 26, a joint open house was held at the Monterey Park location. The open house featured tours of the various offerings at that club. Club member boys and girls and the facilitators of the varied programs were on hand to show off their clubhouse to visitors. For the younger kids, there is the STEM program where, last month, they assembled water and air powered rockets. This month they are assembling functioning R2-D2 Star Wars type robots.
Upstairs is where the teens hang out. There is a game room and drivers education center sponsored by Samsung. Another room houses the college prep center where high school seniors find out about the colleges and universities they might be interested in. The program includes taking students to the campuses of local colleges for tours.
There is also a music studio and rehearsal room where young musicians, like guitarist Adrian Martinez, can immerse themselves in the music world, practice, and even record their music. There is also a Kid’s Kitchen where the boys and girls can get healthy meals while at the club.
One exciting program for kids in the land-locked San Gabriel Valley is the sailing program. Traveling by bus to Marina Del Rey, the club has sharing privileges with the Malibu Boys and Girls Club. This makes the equipment of one club available to kids from other clubs. Besides learning to sail, the kids have access to kayaks and paddle boards.
A new feature offered by the local clubs is the purchase of three Mercedes-Benz vans, each being fitted out for a different purpose. They are called the pop-up vans. The first one has been fitted with bench seats with pillows, a TV, and sound system. It can be used for one-on-one counseling, small group presentations, and story time and becomes a mobile club that can be used by all the clubs in the district.
The second van will be decked out as a mobile art room for kids to practice their artistic expressions. The third van will be for fun and games, including video games, computer challenges, and board games. “The pop-up vans allow Boys and Girls Club activities wherever they go,” said Director of Advocacy for Teens Nick Koontz.
Consider donating to the Boys and Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley to help support the activities of the club, which does so much for the kids of the community. The nearest club is at 328 S. Ramona Ave., Monterey Park 91754. The phone number is 626-573-2831.