The Boys & Girls Club Mission

The Arts: assists the children in developing their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of the visual arts, crafts, performing arts and creative writing. They offer the following programs: Glee and Dance Club (Hip Hop and Ballet), Arts and Crafts, Digital Arts (Graphic Arts, Digital Photography and Digital Music Writing), Youth Theater Workshops, Annual Family Dinner, Spring and Summer Talent Show Performances

Although the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark and Simi Valley have regular sponsors who continue to give them support to augment their expenses, including the salary of the staff, they still seek financial aids and other types of supports. They have what they call as Corporate Champions—these are big businesses who provide sponsorship to the Club by regularly giving financial aids. One can also become an Event Sponsor during Recognition Luncheon, Annual Dinner and Auction Gala, Golf Tournaments and Community Breakfast as part of the regular activities of the Club. They welcome financial donations, and since they are a non-profit organization, donations are tax deductible (when you donate to them, you will get a certain deduction when you pay your tax). They have online donation found on their page or checks can also be mailed to their main Administration Office; one can also opt to join the Annual Giving or the Planned Giving drive. They also have Donation Center in Simi Valley which operates from Monday to Saturday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Here, they accept donations such as men’s/ women’s/ children’s clothing, clothing accessories, shoes and purses, costume jewelry, various beddings, draperies and curtains, houseware and glassware, small household appliances, small home and office furniture, toys, games, bikes and tools of all kinds. They discourage people to donate large furniture including desks, tube TV’s over 20”, large appliances and mattresses. They also welcome people who would like to share their time with the children in the Club. As a volunteer, one can serve in one of their committees in planning for their fundraising activity, provide assistance in an event and promote programs and services of the Club throughout the community; offer a workshop for the children or with their families; provide tutorial services in Science, Math, English and History homework in their after school centers; or dedicate your time by joining the Board of Directors.

Sometimes, there are children who do not excel in school, but they find their spot and develop their potential in organizations like the Boys and Girls Club. Some studies say that joining organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club, has positive impact to a child’s development. They are developed holistically due to the varied programs and activities offered by the organization. The Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark and Simi Valley had already brought a positive impact on the lives of the children in their community—their long years of service proves that they are doing a great job.

The Development of the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark

After three decades of serving the community, the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark merged with the Boys and Girls Club of Simi Valley. After a year of negotiations, the two clubs had merged into one organization. Effective July 1, 2019, the club is known as the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark and Simi Valley. The two clubs will now work as one in serving more than 900 children in their 9 sites (Arroyo West Elementary School Site, Campus Canyon Elementary School Site, Chaparral Middle School Site, Mesa Verde Middle School Site all of which are under the Moorpark Clubhouse and under Simi Valley Clubhouse are Berylwood Elementary School Site, Santa Susana Elementary School Site and Park View Elementary School Site).

Their main Administrative Office is located at 2850 Lemon Drive, Simi Valley, CA. (This is incidentally next door to the Afni Collections offices.) The staff remained in their current locations and assignments so they can continue offering services that they had been performing before.

The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark and Simi Valley is to provide a year-round positive, safe, healthy, fun and educational environment that inspires and enables all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. In cognizance to the core areas of its mother organization, the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark and Simi Valley also have the following core areas:

Character and Leadership Development: empowers the youth while developing relationships, positive self-image and respect for cultural differences. In this core area, they offer 4 programs, namely, Youth of the Year and Youth of the Month (a program that recognizes youth who excels in his/her service to the club, the community and family, academic performance, moral character, life goals, poise and public speaking ability), Torch Club (Leadership development and service club for grades 6 to 8 kids), Keystone Club (a program that makes kids gain valuable leadership and service experience in three areas: academic success, career exploration and community service), Community Service Projects (year-round community service opportunities)

Education and Career Development: makes youth become skillful in educational disciplines, set goals, explore careers, plan for their futures, and utilize and embrace technology to become competitive in tomorrow’s workplace.
Sports and Fitness recreation: gives opportunities to children to enjoy sports and recreation activities like dodge ball, kick ball, handball, basketball, soccer, football, field trips, etc. they even have sports competitions or tournaments.

Health and Life Skills: involves the children in good and useful behaviors that foster their own well-being, set personal goals, and live successfully as self-supporting adults. Some of their programs are: Kids in Control (Safety Awareness program), Goals for Growth (Goal Setting Program for 8 – 12 years old), Smart Moves (provides members with knowledge, skills and self-esteem to avoid risky behaviors and situations), Smart Girls (prepares girls ages 10 – 15 to make positive decisions and develop healthy attitudes and lifestyle), Street Smart (teaches children ages 11 – 13 to identify, resist and resolve conflicts), Tobacco Education (educates and trains children about the dangers and negative effects of tobacco use)

An Early History of the Boys & Girls Club

The history of Boys’ and Girls’ Club dates back to 1860 when sisters Alice and Mary Goodwin, together with Elizabeth Hammersley, organized the first Club in Hartford, Connecticut. The club was called “The Dashaway Club”. Most sources list only the three mentioned women as the founders of the first Boys’ Club, but there are also sources that include Louisa Bushnell as one of the founders. With their belief that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative and a healthy place to live and grow, they started by inviting the roaming boys into their homes offering them refreshments and recreation. More and more boys learned about this and soon they had a growing number of children attending the Club. Because of this, they had to rent a bigger hall where they offered dramatics, music and books. In 1880, another public-spirited woman from Hartford, Mary Stuart Hall, re-organized the “Dashaway Club” as “Good Will Boys Club”. Hall, the first female lawyer in the state of Connecticut, wanted to prove that even tough street kids, when given proper guidance and opportunity, could get along in the society and abide by the rules. Since then, different clubs proliferated in the United States.

In 1906, the Federated Boys’ Club was formed in Boston when 53 organizations decided to combine together. The formation of Boys’ Club Federation of America marked the start of the nationwide Movement.

The Boys’ Club Federation of America was renamed as Boys’ Clubs of America in 1931. With 1275 members, the Club now has a gymnasium, vocational training areas, swimming pool, reading room and campsites. They had faced a lot of challenges and difficulties but despite those that they had faced, they continued to have a growing number of members. They were even mobilized during the World War I as “messengers, guides or helpers”. They were encouraged to be of service to their country. They were able to live by their motto which is “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens”.

On September 12, 1990, girls were officially recognized as members of the club; hence, they renamed it to Boys and Girls Club of America. Though it was originally an exclusive for boys club, girls became evident active members. Some even played important roles even in the early years of recognizing the girls in the organization. Today, the Boys and Girls Club of America leads over 4000 local clubs located in the 50 states all over the country, in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and on US Military bases around the world. They have programs in the areas of education, the environment, health, the arts, careers, alcohol/ drug and pregnancy prevention, gang prevention, leadership development and athletics.

One of these local clubs is the Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark which is located at 4263 Tierra Rejada Moorpark, California. Since 1985 they have been serving their community through offering programs and services that provide a safe and positive environment to the youth. Since they are an affiliate of the Boys and Girls Club of America, they base all their ideals and programs on the framework and concepts of the mother organization. Since its conception in 1860, character development has been the foundation of the club experience.