Boys & Girls Club wins national award  

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Boys and Girls Club of Norman Interim Unit Director Carlye McQuiston, center, accepts an Honor Award for Innovation in Safety on behalf of the club from Ju'Riese Colon, BGC of America national vice president of child and club safety, left, and BGCA President and CEO Jim Clark in Houston during the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 113th National Conference.

Boys & Girls Club of Norman at Center for Children and Families, Inc. received an Honor Award for Innovation in Safety at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 113th National Conference hosted recently in Houston.

The organization received a $5,000 award from MetLife Foundation, sponsor of the annual recognition program, which honors local Clubs for innovative, effective programming leading youth to great futures.

The Honor Award for Innovation in Safety is presented to a club implementing one or more innovative strategies for improving safety awareness and/or making a commitment to creating an overall climate of safety in the club. Boys & Girls Club of Norman (BGCN) is dedicated to the physical and emotional safety of its members and was chosen for their innovations in trauma-informed care.

“We opened our club with the commitment of making physical and emotional safety a priority for all of our members,” Interim Unit Director Carlye McQuiston said. “Working alongside our counseling program at CCFI allows us to meet every kid where they are and work from a trauma-informed perspective. We’ve had the opportunity to watch our members grow and work through difficult situations by making sure they know they are safe and that they belong.”

BGCN structures programming in a way that is conducive to understanding kids with a history of trauma. They do this through routine daily schedules, clear expression of expectations, relationship building and the use of verbal warnings before transitions. Clinically trained staff and volunteers are also available to work with members, with the CCFI counseling team readily available for referrals.

All of these factors combined allow BGCN to provide a comfortable space that members are proud to be part of. Each and every club member is empowered to freely be themselves.

“In communities nationwide, Boys & Girls Clubs play a vital role in providing young people with safe places to learn and grow,” said Dennis White, MetLife Foundation president and CEO. “We are pleased to recognize Boys & Girls Club of Norman for providing exemplary programs and making a positive difference in the lives of local young people.”

Since 1969, CCFI has sought to end the generational cycles of poverty, child abuse and neglect for local children and families by providing services that heal the wounds of childhood trauma and strengthen family relationships. Boys & Girls Club of Norman at Center for Children and Families provides mentorship and enrichment opportunities to kickstart great futures for youth from low-resource neighborhoods. CCFI’s mission is to heal children, empower youth and strengthen families. Visit ccfinorman.org for more information.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $570 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information, visit metlife.org.