Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

Boys & Girls Clubs benefit kids and economy, report shows

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on September 22, 2010

The Boys & Girls Clubs that dot Ventura County offer low-cost or free after-school programming to nearly 23,000 kids every year at 46 centers, a growing attendance figure that club officials have rattled off to supporters for years.

Officials now have new statistics based on a study presented Tuesday:

Parents who were able to stay at work longer because their children attend a club generate an additional $144 million in earnings for their families each year.

Some 3 percent of teenage girls in Ventura County get pregnant, compared with zero incidents reported among teenage girls who attend the clubs.

n Ninety-seven percent of club members pass the high school exit exam, while the countywide figure is 70 percent.

The study was prepared by California Lutheran University economist Jamshid Damooei, who surveyed club participants and parents to calculate the economic impact the clubs make in the community.

The clubs produce an economic ripple effect in the community far beyond the club’s program areas into education, life skills, arts and fitness, he concluded. The clubs serve youths ages 6 to 18.

“By digging deeper, it becomes readily apparent that the clubs create tremendous economic value in the community,” said Damooei, who presented his findings to the county Board of Supervisors. A large group of club administrators and supporters attended the board’s meeting to hear the results.

The Boys & Girls Clubs collectively paid Damooie several thousand dollars to produce the study, which club administrators hope will convince donors that their money is being well spent and spur new investment during a difficult fundraising climate.

“We now have documentation that shows the clubs are effective,” said Linda White, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Simi Valley.

Among those recent investors were the supervisors, who agreed in June to contribute $400,000 in one-time money toward the construction of a permanent, expanded clubhouse at a park in the unincorporated community of Saticoy. At the time, the board also awarded $50,000 to transport children from the Piru and the Rancho Sespe communities to the Boys & Girls Club in Fillmore, $50,000 for the Somis satellite of the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club, and $50,000 for the club in Oak View.

Supervisors praised club officials in the audience for their efforts with area youths and voted unanimously for a resolution declaring Saturday as Boys & Girls Clubs “Day for Kids” in Ventura County.

Damooie said club members, when compared with peers who do not attend a club, have better school attendance and are more likely to graduate from high school, less likely to get pregnant, and less likely to engage in risky behaviors resulting in juvenile crime.

“The economic costs associated with teen motherhood are colossal,” said Damooie, chairman of CLU’s department of economics, finance and accounting and president of Damooie Global Research.

The report shows an annual savings of $308,448 in childbirth expenses and more than $12 million in savings over the lifetime of a woman who did not become a teenage mom.

The most remarkable finding to Damooie were the added earnings by working parents, many who would have to reduce their work and income without the Boys & Girls Clubs to supervise their children after school. Some of the clubs’ after-school centers stay open until 7 p.m., allowing parents to stay at work longer or continue their education to get better jobs. The average per year gain by working parents of club members was $30,000, he estimated, with a county total of added earnings to families at more than $144.7 million.

The complete report is available online at each of the club’s websites.

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