Thanks for making B.A.M. a success

A very big thank you to the Blackwell Fund, the Machamer Fund and the Douglas- Dornan Foundation of the Juneau Community Foundation for recent grants to the Juneau Afterschool Coalition to sustain the B.A.M. program (Body & Mind, Before/After Middle School). The B.A.M. program is in its third year providing community-based after school activities for Floyd Dryden and Dzantik’i Heeni students.

 

The Blackwell Fund, a long-time supporter, continues to provide essential sustaining funds for our entire program. The Machamer Fund is helping pay for healthy snacks we’re providing this year for students during after school activities. The Douglas-Dornan Foundation funds written materials for students in Safe Sitter babysitting training, one of our activities.

National research and a recent study by the University of Alaska concludes that what students do from the end of the school day until adults get home makes a difference in academic performance and health and safety. According to the UA study, “Being involved in organized after school activities two or more days per week” is the most effective way to “increase the likelihood of getting A’s and B’s in school,” and is highly effective in decreasing the odds of youth engaging in risky behaviors.

During the 2013-14 school year, its second full year of operation, B.A.M. attracted nearly one in three Juneau middle school students to 23 activity classes (178 sessions) after school. Attendance is nearly double so far this school year.

Activities have included judo, cooking, archery, babysitter training, yoga, preparation for getting a driver’s permit, outdoor skills, starting a business, gymnastics, animal care and training, a girl’s group, creating an electrical musical pencil, a junior police academy, abstract painting and more. Nearly all were led by community volunteers or staff from our partner organizations. All activities are free and healthy snacks are provided at every session.

Many thanks from our entire coalition to the Blackwell Fund, the Machamer Fund and the Douglas-Dornan Foundation for caring enough about the success of Juneau’s middle school students to support the unique and fun learning opportunities offered by the B.A.M. program.

Kevin Ritchie

JASC/B.A.M. Advisory Board

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