BGCSLV works towards The Club, new teen center

Courtesy photo. Body Tune Up at 420 Main Street in Alamosa is set to be the new location for The Club, a local teen center.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley have recently received three essential grants to aid in their general operations, curriculum development, and the new teen center.

The staff at the BGCSLV have been working hard on grant writing for the Club and it’s paying off in both exciting and important ways.

The first of the three is a $5,000 grant from the Robert Hoag Rawlings Foundation that will go towards general operating expenses. This means the money will go towards day-to-day expenses the Club incurs on a regular basis and their high-yield activities and programming.

The second grant is $5,500 from the San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center. This money will go towards delivering substance use prevention curriculum throughout the valley and be utilized toward staff time, supplies, and any additional services. 

According to a Colorado Health Foundation article by Michael Booth, the valley has a prevalent drug problem.

“Like other parts of Colorado, from Denver’s urban corridors to the southeast plains, the San Luis Valley has been hit hard by the last decade’s uptick of opioid pill prescriptions and cheap supplies of highly addictive heroin.”

However, the substance use prevention curriculum this grant is funding will help mitigate some of these issues, especially as they pertain to children of the San Luis Valley. With SLVAHEC’s help, the Club will now be part of the mission to prevent substance abuse in the local communities.

The third and final grant is $2,500 from the Community Foundation of the San Luis Valley. Though this grant isn’t as large as the other two, it’s exciting because the BGCSLV’s teen members helped write it as the money is going towards the new teen center.

One of the teens, Autumn McCollum, is very excited about having been a part of the process.

“It’s so exciting,” says McCollum. “It feels so great that I got to help and be a part of the grant that’s going to help our teen center.”

The teens have a huge part of the planning process for the center and have a say in nearly every creative aspect of creating it, not to mention being a part of this grant.

Moving forward, they will be working with ActionLab 360 and Mikela Tarlow to educate and train the teens about entrepreneurship. Tarlow will set up unique activities that focus on topics such as team building, communications, branding, marketing, and customer relations. Then, as more time goes on, the teens will have opportunities to suggest modifications to the activities and courses to create a more customized experience as they work on their general workforce skills.

The new teen center, The Club, is going in the building where Body Tune Up used to reside on State Street just north of Main Street. The front room will be a public arcade that will employ teen members, while the back will be a homework and relaxation space for those teen members of the BGCSLV.

Keep an eye out for the “Coming Soon” banner that will hang outside the new center.

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