The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County has been serving Mercer County youth since 1937. Today the organization provides key programs to 2,600 youth each year out of seven program locations in Mercer County. This past fall the Club opened a 35,000 sf community center in Lawrence Township with the goal of doubling the number of youth served by 2020. Before opening the new facility the organization served 1,000 youth per day during the school year, and 550 per day during the summer.
The new community center is located on the borders of Ewing, Lawrence & Trenton townships. Center programming for Kindergarten through 8th graders focuses on serving Ewing and Lawrence youth. Free transportation is provided from Ewing & Lawrence elementary schools for those students registered in the after school program.
Teen programming is more regional, like a community college for high school students. The Club provides free bus transportation at school dismissal from the three town’s high schools, along with a courtesy shuttle to/from the Club until 8pm into Trenton & Ewing townships for teens. High school programming runs from 3pm to 8pm Monday through Friday with a mixture of social, recreational, educational and career focused programming. Teens attending must take a mixture of mission driven and social programs. This helps ensure the Club obtains their key outcome goal of placing alumni into post-secondary career pathways. The Club has three social entrepreneurial businesses for teens that include a Barber Shop, Bike Exchange and Computer Exchange. Teens get real world employment experience and training in a supportive environment. The facility also has a College & Career Center to support this outcome.
To expand program offerings, the Club has partnered with a number of community organizations. For example Rutgers 4H of Mercer County, National Junior Tennis and Learning of Trenton, and Bucks County Fencing Academy. A number of other partners enables the Club to offer high level courses in Art, Dance, Gymnastics, TV Production, Karate, robotics, Zumba, Yoga among others.
Moving the organizations high school programming to the new community center, allowed our Centre Street facility to expand middle school programming after 6 pm. By offering similar programming like we do for our teens, we are able to engage this critical population, and provide a transition for our elementary youth into our teen programs. Transportation is provided from local middle schools to our Centre Street facility at 6 pm. Trenton Club also offers after school programs in five elementary schools, and provides busing from the other elementary schools to our Centre Street facility. This strategy enables the organization to enroll 800 students in structure after school programming across 6 sites in Trenton.
Visit the website for the Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County.