Mesa Boys and Girls Club: Providing hope and opportunity to young people.

The Mesa Leadership class visited the Grant Woods – Mesa Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

IMG_3353
The Grant Woods – Mesa Branch is at 221 W. Sixth Ave. in Mesa.

How did it start? “The Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley has been around since 1963, back when it began as one club site – the Tempe Boys Club. A group of dedicated Tempe citizens started the club in those early years and paid to keep it open and available to the children because they recognized a need for a place for boys to go to escape the boredom and dangers of the streets. In 1980, the Tempe Girls Club merged with the Tempe Boys Club. In 1984 the club changed its name to the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley. This new site was the first club organization in the state to become a Boys & Girls Club, providing valuable after-school programs to both girls and boys. It is now an organization that now serves over 43,000 children and teens annually at 11 branches” (from the website).

A sign over the door.
A sign over the door.

The club’s mission: “We have made it our No. 1 priority to fill the opportunity gap and provide kids who come to us with a chance to build their talents, learn the value of contributing to others, and realize their dreams. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley is looking forward to many more years of providing hope and opportunity to young people” (from the website).

IMG_3333
Gathering to start the tour.

Fast Fact: The club has been serving children and families of Mesa since 1986.

IMG_3336
Branch Director Chris Quasula leads the tour and shows the group around the facility.

Fast Fact: The Club offers an after school program, summer program, youth sports leagues, teen leadership programs, homework and tutoring help for only $25 a year.

IMG_3339
The spacious gym gives children a lot of room to exercise and play sports.

Who is Grant Woods? Grant Woods served as attorney general of Arizona from 1991 until 1999.

Grant Woods is the founder of the Mesa Boys & Girls Club and the Mesa Arts Academy.
Grant Woods is the founder of the Mesa Boys & Girls Club and the Mesa Arts Academy. (online photo)

The Mesa Boys and Girls Club is located in the heart of the community it serves.

IMG_3340
Last year the club fed Thanksgiving dinner to nearly 600 people from the neighboring community.
Donated clothing, shoes and school supplies are available to the children who attend the club.
Donated clothing, shoes and school supplies are available to the children who attend the club.

At the same location is a charter school called Mesa Arts Academy. Arts classes vary by grade level, with younger children taking a variety of arts classes, including Drama, Musical Theatre, Dance and Visual Arts. Older children select from elective classes, including Beginning and Advanced Art, Guitar, Dance, Photography, Yearbook, Drama, Service Learning, Multimedia and Musical Theatre.

IMG_3341
Mesa Arts Academy principal Sue Douglas explains about the adjoining charter school, Mesa Arts Academy, which serves about 240 students in K-8.
IMG_3343
The school’s academic program emphasizes the arts and technology. Student artwork won ribbons at the Arizona State Fair.
IMG_3346
We agree – “Mesa rocks!”

For more information on the Grant Woods – Mesa Branch Boys and Girls Club, visit http://www.clubzona.org/locations/mesa/

To find more about the school, go to: http://www.clubzona.org/locations/mesa_arts_academy

Members of the Mesa Leadership class who attended this tour.
Members of the Mesa Leadership class who attended this tour.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s