Boys and Girls Club is a big help for families

When school is out for the day, too often school children are headed for trouble.

National statistics show the peak hours for juvenile crime is after school, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. That's why the Boys and Girls Club opens its doors for kids across the country, and right here in South Bend.

It is more than an after school hangout, it is a big help for families.

A basketball game is one of many ways kids keep busy after school in South Bend.

"You can play basketball, you can play pool, you can play all types of different games. Go on field trips and stuff," said seventh grader Curtis Anderson.

The Club is more than a safe place for kids, it also serves as a place where they can get their homework done and is a big relief for parents.

"Somehow the teachers here know the kind of math and that helps because my dad and my mom can't help me that much,” said fourth grader Chloe Teall.

Tutors from area universities help kids with homework, boosting grades as well as self esteem.

Each year the Boys and Girls Club selects top students who are candidates for the Youth of the Year award.

This year, they are also honoring local business leaders who agreed to mentor the kids and be a part of this year's "Greatest Big Kid" fundraiser.

"It makes me feel like proud,” said Marquis Taylor, a candidate for the Youth of the Year award. “Like I've got another role model in my life that I would like to be."

The program not only benefits the kids, but the adults as well.

"It's just from our heart that we serve and we get a lot back from the kids too," said Doreen Huddleston, an adult leader from the Boys and Girls Club. "We just learn off each other, it's an exchange.”

The "Greatest Big Kid" will be announced along with the Youth of the Year award at a dinner in South Bend on April 15.

For more information on the Greatest Big Kid award, click here.

For more information on the St. Joseph County Boys and Girls Club, click here.

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