What Boys & Girls Club alumni have said:
80% said Club staff helped them learn right from wrong
95% indicated the Club was the best thing available in their community
52% said participating in the Club “saved my life.”
History of the Organization
The Boys & Girls Club of Casa Grande was formed in 1998 as an after-school program that met at Saguaro Elementary School. At that time, the organization had approximately 50 members. In 1999, the club moved into the city owned building at 798 N. Picacho Ave., the old Casa Grande Union High School Gym. This move allowed us to serve more young people on a daily basis. In 2002, our organization took over operations of the local youth soccer league. In 2004, our organization opened its second after-school program at Toltec Elementary School in Arizona City. When then changed our name from Boys & Girls Club of Casa Grande to the “Boys & Girls Clubs of the Casa Grande Valley”. Attendance at our Casa Grande program continued to grow until it forced our organization to start looking for more space in 2006. In August 2006, we opened our third after-school program (our second program in Casa Grande) at Ironwood Elementary School.
In August of 2015, we opened our fourth Club (third in Casa Grande) at McCartney Ranch Elementary School. This decision was made so that we will be able to serve more young people more effectively. By opening another Club, we projected to serve an additional 100 Club Members each day (which increased our Average Daily Attendance to 550).
In August 2016, we partnered with the Casa Grande Union School District and Vista Grande Library to open our first club dedicated to teens. Since teens would be unlikely to participate if they had to pay, membership in The Lounge is free. Teens participate in programs specifically for their age group, receive tutoring, learn life skills and have fun with their friends. Again, this club is available during after school hours.
With the partnership of the City of Casa Grande and Parks and Recreation, in May of 2019 we moved out of the old high school gym into the new Casa Grande Recreation Center located at 1950 N. Peart Rd. This new multi-generational Community Recreation Center was long awaited since 2006 voters approved bonds for this project however, because of the Great Recession it put this on hold until the economy recovered. Serving more kids, more often in the new facility has allowed us to double the space and attendance. At this point our average daily attendance is almost 700 youth with over 4400 memberships for the year.
For the last 22 years, our organization has worked diligently to provide high-quality and high-impact programs to the youth of our community. And while the year 2020 has been difficult for everyone, our organization has risen to the challenge and continued to serve the young people who need us most. Here are some of the highlights:
- After closing for a few days over Spring Break to figure out how to move forward, we re-opened the Nap Lawrence Branch in late-March with limited capacity and many new safety precautions for critical healthcare and first responder families.
- In April, we expanded The Lounge’s (our Club for high school students) Facebook Group into a virtual Club using Discord.
- In May, we expanded our partnership with the City of Casa Grande and began offering a temporary all-day program at Len Colla Recreation Center.
- In early-August, we opened our first Club in Maricopa at Santa Cruz Elementary School. And as part of this expansion, we changed our name to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sun Corridor (we want our name to encompass and include all of the communities that we serve).
- Later in August, we opened a temporary “Onsite Learning Location” at Mesquite Elementary School. And on August 31, we moved the Len Colla program to Palo Verde Elementary School so that we could serve more students. Combined, we were able to serve 226 Club Members with our four all-day programs (Important Note- prior to this pandemic, we had never operated more than one all-day program at any point in our history). And thanks to our partnerships with our local municipalities and school districts, these programs were completely free to all participants.
- Three of our four partner school districts retuned to modified in-person learning in September or October, so we began operating after-school programs again for the first time since March at that point. Unfortunately, two of these districts have recently returned to all virtual learning, so we are currently operating one after-school program and three all-day learning locations (and serving approximately 225 Club Members every day).
- On Monday, March 1 we joined our (Maricopa) Santa Cruz Branch by resuming to operating our"normal" after-school programs in all Casa Grande locations except The Lounge for teens which returned on March 8th. The Arizona City Branch, for the first time since the pandemic started, opened back up on March 22, 2021.
- For the remainder of the 2020-21 School-Year, our organization worked with our four school district partners (Casa Grande Elementary School District, Casa Grande Union High School District, Maricopa Unified School District and Toltec Elementary School District) to provide all-day programs when these districts were using virtual learning and after-school programs when they were using in-person learning. As of today, all four partner districts have returned to in-person learning and we are operating all six of our permanent Clubs. (Prior to this pandemic, our organization had never operated more than one all-day program at a time. But, at different points throughout the past year, our organization operated four such programs!)