Imagine a world where all children value each other, respect diversity, share with others and give back to their local communities. A world where children are safe, healthy, loved, respected, valued, supported, and nurtured. A world where caring adult role models and mentors help children set a moral compass. A world where children believe they can accomplish anything they set out to achieve and the necessary academic and vocational tools are available to make their dreams happen.

This world exists for children from all corners of our community, embracing all socio-economic levels, diverse ethnic backgrounds, and limitless dreams. It exists at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Petaluma, a non-profit 501 © 3 organization where over 50,000 children have been served since the original Club was established in Petaluma in 1958. Today, 10 Clubs are working with children in Petaluma.
The Club's Mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. The shared commitment of a professional staff and volunteers, that includes the Board of Directors, helps children succeed in numerous areas that are measured through a specific Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Outcome Measurement Tool Kit. Proven results include the following: kids feeling more emotionally and physically secure, behavior improving, improvement in homework completion rates, better grades and higher test scores, more kids abstaining from drugs, alcohol, violence, and premature sexual activity, kids developing and enjoying teamwork skills, gaining respect for others, and working harder towards academic and career goals.
Each Club is open Monday-Friday after school from at least 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm and during the summer. Annual Membership is $10 but no child is ever turned away because of inability to pay. While some activities offered at each Club are based on the interests of the members, there are Five Core Program Areas offered at every Club, including Health and Life Skills, Sports, Fitness and Recreation, Character and Leadership Development, Education and Career Development, and The Arts!

How Speedway Children's Charities has made a difference....
Speedway Children's Charities generous gift of $5,000 helped Boys & Girls Clubs of Petaluma conduct educational programs for over 377 Club Members between September 30, 2008 and June 30, 2009! Educational programs conducted included:

The Power Hour program provides Club professionals with strategies, activities, resources and information to create a homework help and tutoring program that engages youth, and the goal of the program is to help young people develop academic, behavioral and social skills through homework completion.
Project Learn reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school during the hours they spend at the Club. Club staff uses all the areas and programs in the Club to create opportunities for these "high-yield learning activities," which include leisure reading, writing activities, discussions with knowledgeable adults, and helping others. Homework help and tutoring enables members to develop the daily habit of completing homework in a safe, quiet, allocated space with staff and volunteer encouragement for five to six hours weekly. High-yield learning activities (HYLAs) help members apply what they learn in the classroom and encourage them to make productive choices about how leisure time is spent at the Club and at home. Parental involvement empowers significant adults to support members' academic development by informing them of the child's progress and providing programs and information so they can assist their child at home. School collaboration allows Clubs and teachers to develop individualized plans for members to build competencies in challenging subjects. Incentives reward Club members for positive academic participation and encourage parental involvement in Project Learn.

Here is just one youth whose life was changed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Petaluma, who has participated in educational programs and is going on to Santa Rosa Junior College to be an Engineer!

Meet Maddie Simmons, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Petaluma 2009 YOUTH OF THE YEAR! Maddie has been both a Club and staff member at the Clubs in affordable housing. Maddie combines her willingness to learn and grow and demonstrates confidence, compassion, and a positive outlook. A natural leader, Maddie, is able to create a following of members wherever she goes, supporting them and giving them the tools to be successful. Maddie has helped run programs for Club members, demonstrating her passion and desire to make an impact on younger Club members' lives. Maddie attributes her continued successes and accomplishments to the Club; saying "this experience [with the Club] changed who I am and made me a better me." Maddie feels as though the Club has given her the confidence and tools to achieve her goals, which include graduating from college, becoming an engineer, and eventually giving back to her community by setting up a scholarship fund. Maddie is the recipient of a $2,500 Youth of the Year scholarship, graciously provided by the Community Health Foundation of Greater Petaluma. Maddie will use these scholarship funds to attend Santa Rosa Junior College, and then pursue a career as an engineer.