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OUR HISTORY

Since our inception, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa has remained committed to helping metro Des Moines youth reach their full potential. 

Over the years, our programs have evolved to meet the changing needs of the community while never wavering from our core belief that every child, regardless of their income level or zip code, should have access to high-quality, out-of-school programming in a safe and positive environment with adults who care about them. While much has changed since we first began, one thing remains constant: GREAT FUTURES START HERE.

THROUGH THE YEARS

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa was established in 1963. Founders Bernie Baker, Jr.; A.H. Blank; Ellis I. Levitt; E.T. Meredith, Jr. and Miles Mills, Sr. realized that disadvantaged youth in Central Iowa did not have adequate resources and opportunities to grow. Since then, our Clubs have increased to eight, serving the metro area of Des Moines and reaching kids who need us most.

2007

The Ellis I. Levitt Club opens within Carver Community School, the sixth in the nation to reside in a public school.

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2013

The Bernie & Berniece Baker Club opens at Amos Hiatt Middle School, the pilot project in BGCCI’s Club Pathways vision.

2015

The Frank J. Ross Club opens with Moore Elementary School.

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2017

BGCCI launches the Club Pathways campaign, a comprehensive growth strategy to ensure kids and teens can progress from elementary school to high school graduation with Boys & Girls Clubs by their side.

2019

The Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Club opens on Drake University’s campus, only the second in the nation to reside on a private college campus and BGCCI’s first Club site serving K-12 members.

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2020

The E.T. Meredith Jr. Club opens at East High School, completing the East Path for Club members previously attending the Levitt and Baker Clubs. The E.T. Meredith Jr. Club is the first teen-only Club site in Central Iowa.

2021

The Studebaker Club opens at Studebaker Elementary, signifying a major milestone in the Club Pathways campaign as the final new Club to open. 

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