New “Brain Gain” Program, New Duneland Location Add to Excitement This Summer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County

Kidstop-bus-washing-editBoys & Girls Clubs of Porter County launches the Summer Brain Gain program at all of their locations this year thanks to the generous funding of Valparaiso University and Learning By Giving Foundation. Summer Brain Gain is a summer learning loss prevention program developed specifically for Boys & Girls Clubs. Each summer, an estimated 43 million children in the U.S. miss out on expanded learning opportunities that could prevent them from falling behind before the next school year begins. During summer, most youth lose about two months’ worth of math skills. Low-income youth also lose more than two months’ worth of reading skills, while their middle-class peers make slight gains.

Summer Brain Gain is comprised of fun, themed activities for elementary and middle school children. Supported by Disney, each module takes a project-based learning approach; youth engage in a process of learning through discovery, creative expression, group work and a final project or production. With modules topics such as “Green Team,” “Wacky Watch” and “Connect the Dots,” participants can make sculptures out of found objects, create weather in a bottle, or even learn how they are connected to the President of the United States of America.

For parents who need a flexible and affordable child care option, the Clubs offer KidsCamp; a unique day camp program which offers that blends the best of both indoor and outdoor fun and learning. KidsCamp provides a fun environment for kids to learn new skills, make new friends and experience new opportunities all summer long. Parents enjoy the flexibility of half-day, full-day, partial or full-week options. Children can attend KidsCamp every day or just for a morning or afternoon or two during the week.

KidsCamp runs June 9 through August 19, 2014 and is open from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM, Monday through Friday. The day camp is offered at Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County locations in Valparaiso, South Haven, Portage and at our new Duneland location, 521 W. 1100 N in Chesterton. The registration fee for KidsCamp is $10.00 and is open to any child between the ages of 6 – 12. Children must have a current membership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County. Annual memberships are $35.00 per year. Financial assistance is available for membership and KidsCamp fees for those who qualify.

Daily, our Clubs are open for regular membership for children who are not in KidsCamp. Regular Club hours are 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM; and the Duneland Unit from 1:30 to 5:30 PM. The Valparaiso Unit offers a variety of specialty camps throughout the summer as well including: photography, golf, karate, fishing, stop motion animation, and Claymation camps.

“So much happens at our Clubs during the summer – giving youth and their parents a variety of options that will keep children interested and active all summer long. We encourage parents to call their local Club directly, or to visit our website,” states Mark Jones, director of operations for the organization.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County has been opening doors to great futures for Porter County’s youth since 1971. The Clubs provide high quality programs for nearly 5,000 youth members in the areas of character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, the arts, and sports, fitness and recreation.

For more information on membership, volunteer opportunities or to make a tax deductible donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, please contact your local Club, call (219) 464-7282 or visit Great Futures Start Here.