Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester receives 2014 Merit Award for Program Excellence from Boys & Girls Clubs of America for Inclusive Programing

Jun 10, 2014, 11:17 ET from Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester

BOSTON, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester recently received a prestigious Merit Award for Program Excellence at the 108th National Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Conference in San Francisco, CA.

The Awards are sponsored by the MetLife Foundation and presented annually for outstanding programs developed and implemented to lead youth to great futures at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.  Each honoree also received a $2,500 award. Each year, hundreds of entries are submitted in the five core program areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.

Dianne Lescinskas, the Director of Inclusive Services at BGCD, received the award on behalf of the organization for their Project B.I.N.D. (Boston Inclusion Network for Disabilities) program, a Club-wide inclusion program for children with disabilities. The program was introduced four years ago as an initiative to provide affordable and accessible services to families of children with special needs in Dorchester and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Together with a network of partners, BGCD provides access to exceptional after school programs and activities while nurturing the full inclusion of children of all abilities in such activities. By accommodating children of all abilities, the Club has opened new doors for those with special needs, allowing them to participate right alongside their peers at the Club.

Bob Scannell, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester is proud to provide these services to the community.  "We are incredibly honored to be recognized by the BGCA for our work with inclusive services. I am extremely proud of the Project B.I.N.D. program and its success. The positive impact the program has had on the community and children we serve is irreplaceable."

Winning the Merit Award came at a pinnacle time for the program that has seen exponential growth and increased member participation in Club-wide activities. In 2013, the program increased by 60% in enrollment and now serves more than 100 children with special needs. Beyond their work with children, the program provides a support network of invaluable resources to parents and families with parent resource groups and support from community partners.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester is a leading youth development organization that serves more than 4,000 young people each year at three sites, providing children with a safe, positive place to go after school and throughout the summer. The Club offers more than 200 programs in education, social recreation, athletics, art, aquatics, Project BIND (Boston Inclusion Network for Disabilities), early education and care, music, teen programs and more all for just $5 per year for members.  Its mission is to inspire and enable all young people, from diverse circumstances, to realize their full potential by providing opportunities for personal growth to become contributing, caring, and responsible members of the community. 

For more information about BGCD, please visit
Twitter: @BGCDorchester

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SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester