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New GRPS partnership helps to increase attendance at local Boys & Girls Clubs

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A new partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools, Dean Transportation, and Boys & Girls Clubs will allow more West Michigan youth to participate in quality after school programming.
The Clubs are packed full of fun activities for youth of all ages.

The Clubs are packed full of fun activities for youth of all ages.

Dinner is provided at all Clubs to ensure youth receive a warm meal.

Dinner is provided at all Clubs to ensure youth receive a warm meal.

In 2013, Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth (BGC-GR) served 2,675 youth, and 57% of Club alumni said the Clubs saved their lives. Now, after several months of planning, Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) is coming together with BGC-GR to help increase the number of West Michigan youth who attend the Clubs.

One of the main reasons many youth do not attend the Clubs is a lack of transportation. However, GRPS and BGC-GR have partnered with Dean Transportation to overcome this obstacle. As of last month, GRPS will now be providing bussing to current Club members and additional students who are interested from the following schools: Stocking Elementary (to Steil Club), Dickinson Elementary (to Seidman Club), and MLK Leadership Academy (to Paul I. Phillips Club).

This is an exciting time for all of us at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth,” said Rick Huisman, Executive Director of BGC-GR. “For the first time in our organization’s history, we have the ability to bus our Club members after school to our Club locations from three different targeted GRPS schools. Thank you Superintendent Neal, GRPS, and Dean Transportation for partnering with us to enable the youth in our community to multiply their opportunities for success.”

In addition to bringing current Club members to BGC-GR after school, the schools and Club staff will be working to recruit other youth from GRPS to join the Clubs. Those students will be identified and recruited by principals and other key school staff. The increased targeted recruitment efforts will assist in ensuring that more youth will receive the positive after school programming provided by Boys & Girls Clubs.


About Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth

In every community, boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them. Founded in 1938 by Grand Rapids Superintendent of Police Frank O’Malley, Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth engages youth in building positive and meaningful relationships with police officers, staff and adults through programs in the areas of recreation, education, leadership development, healthy life skills, arts, education and positive community services.  Boys & Girls Clubs offer programs and services that promote and enhance development by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. For more information about Grand Rapids Boys & Girls Clubs visit

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