Letter: Boys' and Girls' Club ready for post-Sabic challenges

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Boys' and Girls' Club ready for challenges

To the editor:

The Nov. 4 piece by Berkshire United Way President and CEO Kristine Hazzard highlights the opportunities and challenges faced by Berkshire County organizations that serve youth and families as a result of the "post-Sabic void." Historically, the Berkshire United Way has been the community leader of a movement to identify the critical needs of families and to support relevant programs with proven measurable results.

United Way's strategy to reinforce partnerships among youth and family organizations assures that our community will not only survive, but will thrive, despite the unfortunate loss of Sabic. These strategies have proven effectiveness and ensure that the children of Berkshire County, our children, will develop into young adults who graduate from high school with a plan for future economic stability, live healthy lifestyles, and possess good character and leadership qualities.

The Boys' and Girls' Club supports the United Way in several ways. In partnership with community organizations and the Boys' and Girls' Club of America, the Club implemented nationally recognized programs with measurable successful outcomes to achieve early childhood literacy and to advocate for the complex needs of teens.

The Boys' and Girls' Club is a participating member, along with other community organizations, of the United Way initiative councils. The club has followed the lead of the United Way and the Boys' and Girls' Club of America by developing numerous programs to achieve these important goals such as the Summer Brain Gain, a program for children grades 3-6 to prevent learning loss during the summer months, Smart Girls, a program to teach young girls to make healthy lifestyle choices, a teen mentoring program, and the partnership with the local 4H Club to help our youth develop skills and interest in science and math.

The Boys' and Girls' Club of the Berkshires through its Great Futures movement looks forward to a productive partnership with Berkshire United Way, community youth and family based organizations, and Boys' and Girls' Club of America to provide the advocacy and mentoring services that will be needed now more than ever as we face the void left by the departure of Sabic.

We invite other organizations to join us in that partnership as we move forward to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities posed by Sabic's decision.

Cynthia A. Spinola Christopher Jacoby Pittsfield Cynthia Spinola is president of the Board of Directors and Christopher Jacoby is executive director of the Boys' and Girls' Club of the Berkshires.


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