The Jefferson County Boys and Girls Club is holding various events throughout the week to celebrate National Boys and Girls Club Week, which is dedicated to bringing awareness to the Boys and Girls Clubs around the nation.


Monday, the Jefferson County Boys and Girls Club held an ice cream social and open house at the Townsend Park BGC site. Tuesday there was a Breakfast Club Fundraiser held at the First United Methodist Church.


Wednesday there was a “Painting the Town” Community Outreach event, where students were asked to paint rocks and place them throughout the community to inspire brightness and positivity. In this project, if the students saw a rock, they could choose to leave it and let it be a colorful rock, take it with them if positivity is needed in their lives, or take the rock and place it in a new location for someone else to find and be inspired by it.


“I want the children to know that something as easy as painting a rock and putting it out can brighten someone’s day,” said Emily Burris, site coordinator at the First United Methodist location. “I want it to be a positive experience for the children and for them to know that they are not too young to have an impact in the community.”


Today there will be “A Day of Giving” event where donations for the BGC will be accepted all day at www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1636682. With support, BGCs of Jefferson County will create opportunities to help more children and teens achieve great futures, according to BGC officials. For more information, contact Nyeshia Aldridge, CEO, Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County, at naldridge@boysgirlsclubjc.org or 870-850-7500.


A “Skating for a Cause Party and Raffle” will conclude the BGC events on Friday at the Pine Bluff Skateland Rink.


According to BCG officials, the BGCs fill the gap between school and home by providing welcoming, positive environments in which kids and teens have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and build supportive relationships with peers and caring adults.


According to the 2016 BGC Impact Report, 916 youths are served in Jefferson County — 373 of whom are registered members and 543 who are served through community outreach. There are two BGC sites in Jefferson County with 15 adult staff and 50 volunteers.


Among the teenage club members, 99 percent expect to graduate from high school, and 95 percent expect to complete some kind of post-secondary education. Ninty-five percent of club teen members volunteer in their community at least once per year, while 75 percent volunteer in their community at least once per month. Ninety-five percent of club members ages 9 and older report getting at least an hour of physical activity on 5 or more days per week, according to the report.


For more than 75 years, Boys and Girls Clubs of America has celebrated National Boys and Girls Club Week by recognizing “the invaluable service clubs bring to communities,” according to the organization.


“National Boys and Girls Club Week shines a spotlight on the 61,000 caring, trained youth development professionals who mentor kids and teens every day in 4,300 Clubs across the nation and on U.S. military installations worldwide. The skilled staff help kids dream big and realize their full potential.”