Our community’s kids are in crisis. About 38% of kids in Maury County and 46% of kids in Giles County are overweight or obese. Tennessee ranked 10th in the nation in teen pregnancy in 2017. The 2019 teen sexually transmitted disease (STD) rate for Maury County is 19% higher than in 2015, and 6% higher than the state average. Tennessee is among the top ten states for illegal drug use among persons age 12 and older. In 2019, there were 903 juvenile court referrals in Maury County and 388 in Giles County.
Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Tennessee works hard to combat these challenges for our community’s youth through daily impact programs under our “Healthy Lifestyles” priority outcome.
Components of our Healthy Lifestyles program include:
- Education on nutrition and healthy habits
- Ensuring that all Club members engage in at least 30 minutes of physical fitness at the Club each day
- Healthy cooking classes (“Culinary Club”)
- Using Tower Gardens to grow their own herbs and vegetables
- Age-specific programs that teach students how to make smart choices and avoid drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy, gangs, and other risky behaviors
- Opioid abuse prevention programs
- Physicals and dental/vision/health screenings by medical professionals offered free of charge at the Club through our community partners
- Nutritional snacks provided each day, and full meals during spring/fall breaks and summer
- Award-winning Mule Town Baseball program that has introduced hundreds of low-income, primarily minority youth to the game of baseball and created a positive community outlet in the previously under-utilized Fairview Park
- Award-winning SMART Girls program, including the SMART Girls Conference that served and empowered 60 young women in 2019
Through the combination of these programs and the other wraparound services we provide, we are able to achieve positive outcomes for our kids.
Some of the outcomes achieved through our Healthy Lifestyles programs include:
- In 2019, we received a Program Excellence Award from Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee for the top Health & Life Skills program in the state, in recognition of our SMART Girls program and first annual SMART Girls Conference
- 60% of Club members demonstrated increased knowledge of nutrition and healthy habits on a pre/post-test last school year
- In 2013 we received the Program Excellence Award for having the top sports and recreation program in the state, out of over 75 other Clubs, for our Mule Town Baseball RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) program
- Club Teens have tried new foods for the first time and learned to cook healthy recipes from scratch through the weekly Culinary Club
- Club members are growing their own herbs and vegetables at the Club with their Tower Gardens