Sykes Unit visited the Capitol Unit for a game of basketball this week. Who won? It doesn’t matter. Sometimes a lesson in sportsmanship is what’s most important. Go BGCCM!
Sykes Unit starts every day with exercise. Friday morning, music filled the Club. Members danced to the beat to wake up, get their blood flowing and increase their energy level.
With imaginations kicked into full gear, a section of gym floor at BGCCM Sykes Unit has been transformed into the blue green waters of the Monterey Bay along the coast of California. The job of the Sykes members participating in the Sea Research Immersion Mentoring Initiative, a mentoring program funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, is to identify several species of marine mammals using a strip transect-survey method.
The marine mammals, each represented by a different type of candy, are spread throughout strip transects taped to the floor. Teams are formed and data sheets are distributed. Two teams on opposite sides and ends of the “Bay” line up with one team member per strip. They slowly begin moving within their strip, without stopping, as eyes scan and their brains estimate the number of each species within that strip.
After each team has had their turn, team members huddle compiling data.
Sykes Program Instructor Jodi Burton stands ready with the correct numbers. She asks the children…How many blue whales? How many humpback whales? How many Pacific white-sided dolphins? Questions continue and answers fly about the room as excitement bubbles like the ocean’s foam.
Ms Burton soon gets down to the real statistics. Elated participants raise their hands when they have the correct answer. The winning team gets first choice of the candy used in during the survey!
Both music and energy fill the air. Colorful lights bounce from dark corners, reflecting on the floor as skaters, some racing and others barely inching by, make their way around the rink at Skate & Shake in Jackson Friday. Sykes Unit members and staff are in the thick of it. A group of kids pull their skates off and break into dance. One person speeds past on roller skates as another thumps to the floor. There’s smiles and laughter. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall as long as you keep on trying.
It’s all about fun this week at the BGCCM. It didn’t matter that a ball had to be rescued from the end of the bowling alley because it hit the pin sweep bar; or that a rogue pin held up action in a lane because it got stuck in a gutter guard. There were bowling balls to roll, pins to knock down, and plenty of snacks to be eaten. The kids of the BGCCM Sykes Unit did it all during a Spring break visit to Paradise Lanes in Jackson Thursday!
Boys & Girls Clubs members at the Sykes Unit work on their Black History Month projects. Each group of children were to select two African-American figures and make a collage about their life and contributions to Black history. The large pieces were joined to form a backdrop for the Sykes Unit Black History Month Program.
Two young men stand before the entire Sykes Unit membership as applause determine the winner of the Winter Talent Show. A tie is called. Javonte (left) and Dathan smile broadly as the shake hands, hug and pat each other on the back. To them, a tie is perfect. Applause and cheers fill the gym as all look on at the sight. Javonte had thrilled Sykes Club members and staff with his dance and gymnastic talent, while Dathan delighted the group with a selection of Gospel rap. The winners beat five other contestants to take the title
It’s all about teamwork at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Mississippi Sykes Unit! Whether it’s two Sykes Club members working in tandem, both walking on the same skis, while being coached by a program director; or a dizzy, blindfolded Club member trying to put a basketball in the hoop, with voice direction alone from another Club member and a program instructor; the Sykes family joined for a day of fun Saturday during a sports tournament celebrating National Mentoring Month.
“I just like the way the children worked together and the fact the staff can come together without it being a work day – volunteering their time,” says Jetonica Collins, unit director at Sykes. “Parents liked the fact the children had something to look forward to all week – something they were excited about.”
About 40 kids, parents and staff cheered, jumped, threw a football through a hula hoop, played volleyball, tried their hand at archery, played three on three basketball and kept score during two hours of games challenging young and old.
Leading up to the event, Club members practiced with staff mentors always teaching and emphasizing comradery, everyone clapping and encouraging as they worked – whether someone did well or not. That lesson was well learned as applause and cheers filled the gym during the weekend activities.
Gearing Up For Lights on Afterschool 2010!
Children, families, educators, community leaders, policy makers, celebrities and others across the country are making plans to gather in schools, community centers, parks, malls, state capitols and elsewhere on October 21 for the 11th annual Lights on Afterschool. The only nationwide rally for after school programs is organized by the Afterschool Alliance. It is expected to include some 7,500 events across the United States and at U.S. military bases worldwide this year.
The Sykes Unit Keystone & Torch Club will be hosting various fundraisers to celebrate Lights on Afterschool. Sykes members will host a car wash and snack fundraiser .These fundraisers will help the unit to purchase After School Awareness Bracelets for its members. The Keystone & Torch Club has asked each member to wear brightly colored t-shirts on this day to represent Lights on Afterschool 2010.
On Friday September 24, 2010 youth around the country celebrated Nickelodeon’s World Wide Day of Play. This day encourages youth to be physically active through the engagement of sports and other recreational activities.
Over 220 members of the Sykes unit Boys & Girls club enjoyed a mini carnival in honor of this day of play and recreation. The carnival included a dunking booth, space jumps, basketball games, flag football games, volleyball games, tug of war tournaments, a bowling tournament, and refreshments. Dominique, Program Director for Sykes said, “You can see the excitement in the kids faces in all the pictures that were taken. They had a great time.”