While the end of the game many not have worked out for the Seahawks on Nov. 5, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula came away with a big win before the game.
Dave Miller, unit director for Sequim’s Carroll C. Kendall unit, and the club’s Youth of the Year candidate Heidi O’ Leary, a Sequim High School junior, accepted a $10,000 check from CenturyLink and the Seahawks to help leverage technology at the clubs in Sequim and Port Angeles.
They received one of two $10,000 grants from the Spirit of 12 Partners and the Sequim representatives were able to watch the game from the CenturyLink suite and meet retired quarterback Mark Rypien.
Miller said the grant will double the clubs’ amount of computers, free up more space for students to use computers, bring in tablets, and help purchase software upgrades.
“It means we can have more children working on academics during Homework Club time where we have a mandatory 30 minute time for every kid,” he said.
“The computer room is one of our most popular areas (in Sequim) but we can only do 14 at a time.”
In the application for the grant, Janet Gray, the clubs’ resource development director, said that most of the clubs’ computers are classified as “barely functional” or struggle to load a web page.
She said computers are given priority to those who need to finish homework and there’s a waiting list to join computer-based programs like Robotics Club.
As technology improves at the club, Miller said staff plan to begin implementing more tablets into the clubs so that more students can use the software.
To make technology conditions even better between the clubs, Gray said the First Federal Community Foundation recently announced it granted the clubs $6,200 to pay for Stride Academy licenses at the clubs too.
Stride Academy, is a skill building resource that measures success and provides incentive coins for students as they go along, club staff said.
Gray said many club members don’t have computers at home so using the computer for academic enrichment for Stride Academy and the software records their growth and weaknesses so that club staff can help them in needed areas.
Sequim’s club began using the program two years ago, Gray said, and staff were so impressed that they continued using it there this year and added it to Port Angeles’ club.
Miller said they are strict on students during computer time and it remains strictly academic.
Between the two clubs, staff report the facilities serve about 1,100 youths in Port Angeles and 2,600 in Sequim with daily attendance growing by about 20 percent in Sequim and 8 percent in Port Angeles in the 2015-16 school year.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, call 360-683-8095, or visit www.bgc-op.org.