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July 13, 2014

Hands-on learning

GREENVILLE — Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Texas are keeping their minds sharp, all while having fun during the summer.

The club’s new program, Summer Brain Gain, has been in full swing since June, and has students learning everything from biographies of Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, to discovering different cultures and artists.

Reecy Davis Club Director Kevin Heath said the staff have been busy at work teaching the kids through the summer.

“They learn things, such as how to read food labels, calorie counting and eating healthy,” he said. “We had the police department talk about gun safety, bullying, and they brought the drug dogs out to perform.”

Each week has a different theme. One week was heroes, where the students picked a real life hero to research how they impacted history. Another week they studied different inventions and the minds behind them.

“We’ve done a lot in five weeks, now that I think about it,” he said.

Recently, the students learned about how children in other cultures had fun, including a game called kite fighting, where they would fly kites and see who could knock the other one’s kite down first. The students also learned the history of parachutes and how they operate.

The club has the students read through books throughout the summer to encourage good reading habits.

Along with reading, the staff hosts activities that go along with the books they read.  Teenagers at the club are also taught the Robert’s Rules of Order in how to properly conduct a meeting.

To help test how they have learned the rules, the club set up a Keystone Club, which operates much like a student government would at a college.

The goal of the group is to promote community service and success academically and at home.

On top of the programs the club has, they also host Aikido Martial Arts lessons on Mondays and Wednesdays, cooking classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they make a trip to the library once a week.

For more information on the club, visit www.begreatnext.org.

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