Emma is a 3rd grader at Moore Elementary School and is a Club member at the Frank J. Ross Club. When she came to BGCCI, she was reading at a first-grade level. This can greatly impact a student in all of their classes.


When Emma was flagged as not reading at her grade level, our Ross Club Unit Director recommended she participate in our Everybody Wins! Iowa program partnership. This past summer Everybody Wins! Iowa program volunteer mentors came and read with members like Emma once a week. Each member had their own folder with a reading log and a vocabulary sheet. After the program had such high participation and positive feedback, we decided to continue the partnership into this school year.


Emma loved participating in this program and reading with her mentor. Prior to participating, she was very embarrassed about reading and always tried to avoid it. After reading with her mentor once a week, she improved her reading proficiency so much that she is now on grade level. Emma is doing very well in her classes and enjoys reading not only in school but also with her mentors each week!


Elijah, a 4th grader at school joined our Ross Club halfway through the semester. He has always struggled with school. Rather than being present in the classroom, he had a tendency to wander around and act uninterested in what he was learning in class. However, Elijah struggles at recognizing good behaviors, so our Club staff works extra hard with him to help him develop this critical social skill.


Elijah was also reading slightly below grade level. Shortly after joining Ross Club, we quickly saw how much he enjoyed coming to Club. He always did what he was asked to do, followed all of our rules, and is a fun addition to our Ross Club. To help fill these gaps, our Club staff worked with Elijah to help him develop these areas so he can use those skills outside of Club and in school.

Elijah's family had a lot going on at home that distracted him from his school work. Club staff realized how important Club is for Elijah. Not only does he get to work on filling the gaps in his behavior and learning, but Elijah also has an outlet after school hours where he can explore, learn, play, and grow.


Lily is a 3rd grader at Carver Elementary School and regularly attends the Ellis I. Levitt Boys & Girls Club. Lily struggled to be in big groups of people and with a self-image rooted in having no contact with her biological mother. This affected her confidence and made it hard for her to try new things. When faced with conflict, Lily struggled to understand and recognize the truth in the situation. At Club, staff regularly sat down with Lily one-on-one to help her with emotion control.


This past school year, Lily participated in violin, Power Hour, SMART Girls, helped staff when needed, and led new members around our Club. She is comfortable working through conflict, and she is able to identify why she feels the way she does in certain situations.

Through opportunities and expectations, the Boys & Girls Club put Lily on the path to become a productive, caring, and responsible citizen. She is now a part of something bigger than what we could have imagined for her just a year ago thanks to encouragement from staff and the support of Boys & Girls Club programs.

The Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa (BGCCI) is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization

Administration Address:

1421 Walker St., Des Moines, IA 50316

Phone: (515) 242-7925

Stay In Touch 

© 2021, Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa. All Rights Reserved.  |   Privacy Policy