“Boys and Girls Clubs help improve young people’s academic performance and encourage them to graduate high school, pursue a post-secondary education and develop a lifelong love of learning.”

In Dayton, WA, a small town of 2,500 people, quality after-school care can be hard to come by. Children with working parents often spend non-school hours alone in front of a screen instead of playing, creating or studying. As a result, many perform poorly in school, and some suffer from obesity and even depression.

Soon, however, Dayton’s kids will have a new place to go after school, thanks in part to a $30,000 Community Strategies grant at Innovia. The award will help create a Boys and Girls Club for the youth of Columbia County, which includes Dayton and nearby Starbuck.

The club will provide a safe and fun after-school environment for K-12 students to learn, create and exercise. They’ll also get healthy meals, help with homework and positive mentorship.

Dan Butler, who is leading the effort, said the need for the Boys and Girls Club is great in Columbia County, which has a high percentage of at-risk youth.

“When Boys and Girls Clubs offer extended learning opportunities and educational enrichment programming during the non-school hours, they help improve young people’s academic performance and encourage them to graduate high school, pursue a post-secondary education and develop a lifelong love of learning,” he said.

“When Boys and Girls Clubs offer extended learning opportunities and educational enrichment programming during the non-school hours, they help improve young people's academic performance and encourage them to graduate high school, pursue a post-secondary education and develop a lifelong love of learning." Dan Butler