HUMBOLDT COUNTY- This week is National Boys and Girls Club Week, and the Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods is joining in the celebration.
Officials with the Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods say about 50 percent of the members, who are students from ages six through 18, come from single parent households. They say ten percent of the members are homeless.
"It's great for them to be able to know that they've got a safe school that they can go to every day and safe place after school that's stable where they have staff that know and love and care about them and are really there to help guide them on the right paths," said Liz Smith, the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods.
Which is one of the reasons officials point to as to why 85 percent of members of the organization throughout the United States graduate from high school.
"I think it's important, especially as we look at how crime rates have gone up, to be thinking about how to break those cycles. And I think part of that certainly is being proactive and preventative and providing really meaningful after school and summer programs for kids," Smith said.
For National Boys and Girls Club week, the Humboldt County chapter is participating in a variety of ways. The Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods Youth of the Year and Youth of the Month award winners will be honored at a special dinner on Friday. An open house free to everyone will be held at the Teen Center on Saturday.
"It's great for them to be able to take tours of the club, to be able to meet club staff, to be able to see some regular kids who come to our clubs every day. So it's a fun way to get engaged,” said Smith.
Also, Boys and Girls Club members will be able to interview alumni and learn how the organization helped them.
"I think it's great for them to see how far they've come in our community and to give our kids someone or something to look up to," Smith said.
The Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods is in its 76th year and has nearly 3000 members.