08/10/05 — Teens boost efforts to attract members, to create community network

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Teens boost efforts to attract members, to create community network

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 10, 2005 1:56 PM

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County this week launched Reaching Out, a new outreach program to encourage teens in Goldsboro to join the organization now called "The Club."

Boys & Girls Club spokesman Sarah Wheeler said the teenage members of the club on Royall Avenue, called the Royall Keystone Club, developed the program in response to increasing numbers of teenagers they know who need programs like theirs.

The Royall Keystone members will go out into the community and talk to teens at local parks, shopping malls and churches and share information about the club and encourage them to join. They will connect with individuals, agencies and organizations to create a teen referral network. Club representatives will meet with partnerships with area merchants, provide public service announcements and hold recruiting parties.

"We know that the after school hours between 3 and 8 p.m. are the most dangerous for teens," Executive Director Mary Ann Dudley said. "Teens are more likely to commit or be victims of violent crimes during those hours, and many become involved with sex, drugs, alcohol and gangs because they lack the positive alternatives that Boys & Girls Clubs offer." Cynthia Lawrence, the teen director, said although the project is primarily for new teen recruitment, the program will also focus on the members who have strayed away from the club programs and to encourage them to return.

Royall Keystone Club President Sharquella Weeks said she and the other members are excited about the project.

"We get to meet other teens and let them know what great programs the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County has to offer," she said. "We're looking forward to a successful turnout."