Walton

WCBGC Names April Teen of the Month for April

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Celebrating our Youth 

Walton County Boys & Girls Clubcelebrates its members and their accomplishments. This month the Club is Teen member of the Month Christopher Day. 

Day has been a member of the Club for one year and is a teen member of the Club.

“It makes me happy to know that my mom is proud of the things that I am learning and doing at the Boys & Girls Club,” Day shared. “I really enjoy meeting new people through the Boys & Girls Club, like the Belles & Bowties Fundraiser I recently attended.”

Day was selected for his ability to lead his peers in activities, willingness to try new things and excelling in implementation of the BGC way.

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For Christopher his favorite program at the Club is Passport to Manhood where he learns how to dress for success, etiquette techniques and the importance of pursuing your education. 

Christopher is a member of the Keystone Club, Passport to Manhood and the Basketball Team. 

 “There is a uniqueness about this young individual that I have grown to love about Christopher,” Lynn E. Hill, WCGGC Director shared. “His mother moved her family to Georgia about 2 years ago and she was very concerned about his surroundings and the kids he would be vulnerable to. I assured her that there was something about “C.J.” that would cause him to rise above his environment and excel as a notable youth in our community.”

Mr. Hill believes, Christopher has done more than excel.

“His mother is so happy that Chris has a place to develop and mature. His style of dress has changed. He works on his language and speech,” he shared. “Surely, he is moving to the top of his class in school.  He has taken advantage of the Boys & Girls Club experience.”

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/waltonclubor call 770-207-6279.

WCBGC Golden Steppers take third at step show

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Walking onto the Classic Center stage in Athens was thirty Walton County Boys & Girls Club members to perform as The Golden Steppers. They have been practicing since January for this big performance at the 16th Annual Youth Step Show, presented by the Athens Alumni National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc.  

The girls were delighted to discover that out of the competition they placed third and were also acknowledge as People’s Choice by the 500 audience members in attendance. 

This performance by the Golden Steppers was an initiative of the S.M.A.R.T. Girls program that is in place at the Club. A portion of the event’s proceeds were donated toward the Club.   

For several dancers, this competition is something they’ll never forget.

“I’m so proud of us,” Club member Teresha Smith said. “I will never forget this experience for the rest of my life.”

Club member Makayla West said, “Even though we didn’t take first place, I’m so glad we got third and we are always winners at the Boys & Girls Club.”

 “I saw something within these number of girls that I haven’t seen in a long time - a love for their Boys & Girls Club,” Lynn E. Hill, WCBGC Director, said.  “When the announcement was made that they placed third place in the competition, they were filled with joy. I am so proud of these young girls. The group is a part of the SMART Girls resistance program at the Boys & Girls Club, in which we instill into these values of morals, ethics, hard-work, integrity, and a whole lot of GRIT!  The energy that they put into their work, the work ethic, and the discipline that they displayed will cause them to be GREAT!”

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/waltonclubor call 770-207-6279.

GWA youth gives 'Hope & Opportunity' to WCBGC

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Jenni Andersen knows who she wants to become when she grows up – a teacher in Walton County. She’s a senior at George Walton Academy. To give her real world experience with youth she’s been diligently volunteering at the Walton County Boys & Girls Club.

When Jenni first visited the Club she was surprised to see just how many “wonderful things were being done” at the Club. 

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“As I came to visit the Club, Mr. Lynn E. Hill (WCBGC Director) would show me how I could make a difference in the lives of the members and where I could be utilized the most to understand the importance of being a teacher. 

Mr. Hill gave her a tour of the facility, how the Club operated and showcased what being involved could look like at the Club.

After her visit, Jenni knew what she wanted to do – Power Hour.

Power Hour is a program which focuses on creating a safe space for members to ask questions about homework, work together on school work, study and find unique ways to engage with what they’ve been learning in school.

“I really enjoy being here and giving my best to the Club,” Anderson shared. “I have met so many interesting kids here in the Club and it motivates me to continue pursuing my career path in education. Every time that I come to volunteer, I feel that I have made a difference.  I am thankful for this opportunity to volunteer at a good place like this.”

Mr. Hill says Jenni has brought a “special kind of energy” to the Club. He said that after his initial meeting with Jenni he knew Power Hour was the right fit 

“I wanted Miss Jenni to be a part of the Power Hour Program because I realized that she was gifted in that area,” Mr. Hill shared. “With the kind of energy that she has, and excelling in academics in her school, I know that this energy will pour over into the members. It is wonderful to know that we still have young people who have a vested interest in education and teaching our youth. It’s even more exciting to know that Ms. Jenni will be one of those educators who had humble beginnings right here at the Boys & Girls Club, and she will always contribute to the success of our youth.”

For Jenni, her time at the Club has helped fuel her goal of becoming a teacher with first-hand experience of what making a difference in a younger youth’s life can do.

“I believe that everybody, at some point in time in their lives, ought to give back to their community through volunteering,” she shared. “I learned the motto, that, ‘Great Futures Start Here.’ I can see that for myself as I volunteer at this place. The kids here are special. They deserve all of the good things in life, and I want to help be a part of that.”

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club visit, www.bgcncg.com/waltonclubor call 770-207-6279.

BGCNCG Youth Named Semi-Finalist at State Comp

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Griggs “shines” a message of positivity 

Ricquaria Griggs believes in empowering others – it’s a message she’s been spreading since joining Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club in 2012. It was there within the walls of her Boys & Girls Club that she found her inner voice and confidence to start sharing her positivity. And, it was on stage at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia Youth of the Year competition she heard her inner voice say, “I’m here.”

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‘Here’ was hearing her name being called as a semi-finalist in the state-wide competition, where she competed against more than 30 youth from Georgia Clubs. 

The statewide competition was a three-day competition, which consisted of interviews, essays and speeches focusing on how Boys & Girls Clubs impacted the youth.

For Griggs, the impact was easy to name – “the Club taught me to love myself and how I can in return take that love and give it to my community.”

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And even though she didn’t take home the title of state-wide Youth of the Year, Griggs keeps echoing two words, “I’m here.”

“After the winner was announced a fellow Youth of the Year said to me, ‘but, I’m here’ and I couldn’t help but reflect on the meaning of those two words for my life and my future,” she shared. “Wherever I am meant to be and whatever I am truly meant to pursue, I will get there because I was here – because this Club and organization believed in me and because I believed in myself.”

Among those gathered to support Ricquaria was Greene County High School Principal, James Peek, who shared his excitement in her successes. 

“It has been a tremendous experience attending this Youth of the Year ceremony. We at Greene County High School are very proud of Ricquaria’s accomplishments,” he shared. “She is an outstanding student and tremendous leader in our community. I know that she is on the path to do great things in the future.”

For Mike Conrads, a Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia advisory board member and donor toward the Youth of the Year program, watching Ricquaria grow was an immense honor to participate in. 

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“Shine is the word – Ricquaria is amazing,” he shared. “She’s such a great representative and she truly has her act together. She knows where she’s going, so humble and just a wonderful spirit. It’s been wonderful to watch her grow through this last year.”

Conrads added, “She’s going to be a superstar in the future – she already is.”

“She’s going to be leader and she is going to come back to our community and give back – that’s her.”

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During the course of the last year, Ricquaria was been named Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, as well as the organization wide Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia Youth of the Year. Her accomplishments are marked by her unrelenting dedication to grow as a leader, as well as an individual. 

Bob Mackey, President & CEO of BGCNCG, said “We are so proud of Ricquaria. She truly lives and breathes our mission statement in her own community efforts to ensure every youth reaches their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”

“Her accomplishments also echo our core commitment to continue fostering great futures for our youth in North Central, as this marks the second year a youth from our organization was named a semi-finalist in this competition,” he added. “We’re also so grateful for the individuals who helped prepare Ricquaria for this competition. Thank you, Linda and Mike Conrads, June and Michael Tompkins, Terressa and Kim Jensen for helping prep her for the sessions.”

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For Ricquaria, her future is bright and sure to be something “amazing.”

“Because of my local Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club and the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, I was given the opportunity to share my story and inspire others along the way,” she shared. “I now have the confidence to keep striving to be successful. I can’t wait to see what’s next for me because I know it is going to be something amazing!”

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program empowers young people to reach their full potential by providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine.

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia’s vision is to provide a world-class experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters its doors.

For more information or to donate, visit www.bgcncg.com. If you’d like to get involved, please contact 770-267-8034. 

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Belles & Bowties Shines for Youth

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Walton County was dressed in its finest and ready to open its hearts for the Youth of the Walton County Boys & Girls Club at its annual Belles & Bowties fundraiser. As guests arrived, they were greeted and escorted in by Club members. The venue, The Engine Room, was dawned with hues of Boys & Girls Club blue and the faces of Club members were hanging from every wall to each guest table. 

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A silent auction kicked the night off, as well as unique raffle games and a center piece art table hand crafted by the WCBGC members. 

“We couldn’t be happier with the giving nature of our community,” Ross Bradley, WCBGC Advisory Board Chair shared. “During our live auction, I was blown away by the unrelenting support of those gathered for the greatest cause - our youth.”

The live auction featured Fox 5 News Reporter and Auctioneer, George Franco and it did not disappoint. 

Guests placed bids on lots of exclusive items, including such items as a trip to Cuba and a golf experience package in California. 

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Overall the evening was all about the youth, as Ronny Monford, WCBGC Youth of the Year shared his Club experience. 

“This place has changed my life forever,” he shared. “I’ve grown to understand the importance of giving back to your community, setting positive examples and taking care of the youth coming up behind me.”

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Monford shared that his Club experience has culminated in taking him from a “troubled youth” to a shining light – mentioning highlights like being named to a national Boys & Girls Clubs of America steering committee for Keystone Club. 

The funds raised from Belles & Bowties are used to assist the Club in all its daily operations and continue to foster great futures.

“Walton County Boys & Girls Club are celebrating their 17th year of serving this community,” Bob Mackey, Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia President & CEO, shared. “We couldn’t have made the impact we have without the helping hands of this community. It’s truly an exciting time for our Walton Club. We thank you for being a part of this movement.”

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.comor call 770-207-6279.

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WCBGC Names Youth of the Month

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Celebrating our Youth 

Walton County Boys & Girls Club celebrates its members and their accomplishments. This month the Club is Youth of the Month Makai Robinson.

Makai has been a member of the Club ever since he was 6 years old.

“He always wants to you to know that he is special, and he proves it by being one of the first to want to read aloud his books in the Learning Center, as well excelling in all of the physical activities held in the gym,” WCBGC Director, Lynn E. Hill, shared. “His smile is always captivating, and his manners always captures your attention.”

Being named Youth of the Month is a credit to the youth’s character and shown leadership abilities within the Club.

“My Walton Club helps me excel in my homework, especially when I don’t understand the material. Everyone here cares about my wellbeing and I have fun here,” Makai shared. 

For one volunteer Makai helped showcase you can make a difference in a child’s life.

“As a volunteer of the Club, I found myself nervous as to whether I could make a difference in their lives with the activities that I would engage the Members in.  Makai would confirm my success with them.  He would always come back to me and tell me what he thought of my activity that I shared with them,” Sherrie Blare shared. “Whenever we have art projects to do in the Art Room he not only cleans up his work afterwards, but he helps other members clean up and that is something rare and unique.  Makai is a very smart kid, with a great future ahead of him.”

Makai’s character sparks joy for Club staff and reminds them why they’re work matters every day he enters the Club. 

“There is a uniqueness about this young individual that I haven’t seen in a long time, as I have worked with youth at the Boys & Girls Club,” Hill shared. “I find him very encouraging and an inspiration to myself personally and our Club members.”

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/waltonclubor call 770-207-6279. 

WCBGC Prepare Artwork for Belles & Bowties   

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Walton County Boys & Girls Club members have been busy over the last few weeks preparing artwork to be displayed at the Club’s Belles & Bowties special event. The artwork varies from paints to drawings. 

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Club members were given the opportunity to prepare for the event by learning protocol and procedures for the event, as they are advised by mentors in the Passport to Manhood Programs, while other Club Members participated by creating colorful art designs on canvass frames.  These projects will be transported to the Belles & Bowties event, in which the paintings, portraits, and projects will be held in a silent auction and the proceeds with help to benefit the Club. 

“We want to co-ordinate with the Advisory Board, volunteers and staff, who work with these Members to give it their best creative thoughts to express art in such a way that the guests of the event will want to not only bid on their work, but come out to the Club and meet these future artists and graphic designers. Great Futures in the Arts can really start here, too,” Lynn E. Hill, WCBGC Director, shared. 

Club member Allen Giddens looks around at the art being created and shares, “It feels good to know that I can do something to help out my Club.  It really means a lot to me!”

“The most fulfilling piece for the setup for the Belles & Bowties Event is to see these Club members feel important about their work, boosting their self-esteem, and having a healthy sense of pride in what they do and how they feel about themselves and the ways that they can influence others in their community,” Hill shared. 

Sherrie Blare, a volunteer at WCBGC, is leading the artwork preparation and said “The kids seem to really enjoy this project, not only because it is fun to create a project in art, but they are really excited that someone is going to view their work and buy their work so that we could raise monies for their Club.”

“I never realized how enjoyable painting at this level could be.  It just goes to show you how the simple things in life, such as creative art design can relieve stress and take you away from the problems of the world,” she added. “It is so healthy for these kids to escape the hardships at home, school, or community, and be at this Club where their creativity can help them overcome growing pains.  

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/waltonclubor call 770-207-6279.

 

WCBGC Step Team Shines

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Volunteer Gives Back 

Twenty-five young girls of the Walton County Boys & Girls Club spend Friday’s in the Club practicing together as the Golden Steppers – a step team. Their ages range from 8 to 12-years-old and in the month of March they’ll have their first debut performances – one placing them at the University of Georgia. 

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“When I first walked through the doors of the Club and met the step team, my heart immediately longed for the opportunity to work with these youth,” WCBGC Volunteer Taylor Butts, shared. 

Serving as their choreographer, Taylor has found a home in volunteering at the Club. 

“With so much energy and uniqueness, that I found here, I knew that this was the place for me to come and volunteer.  The director and staff were so welcoming that I felt a high sense of inclusion and they made me feel as if I belonged here to do good work for these youth,” she said.

Each Friday, the young girls begin by listening to Taylor share a positive lesson and begins each session and practice with a warm-up, stretch, and lecture on life lessons and she’s taking a page from the WCBGC way in what type of stories she finds to share. 

“The Director explained to me the three things that they accomplish in each member that attends the Club. That is for them to build good character, be healthy and become academically successful,” she said. “I come to the Club as a volunteer who believes in those same principles, and I am so happy to be a part of this success climb.”

For Club Director, Lynn E. Hill, Taylor has been such an asset to the Club.

“Taylor has been such a role model for our young girls and we’re so excited for their upcoming performances,” he said. “She shares an energy with these Club members that just displays a wonderful connection between the members and herself.”

The youth will perform March 16 at University of Georgia for a step show fundraiser, in which of the proceeds will return back to the Boys & Girls Club, here in Walton County. Their other performance in March will be a benefit program for drug awareness and crime prevention.

“I love to work with youth, especially in a place that is geared towards helping youth succeed,” Taylor shared. “Volunteering is truly fulfilling, especially when you can see the difference that you are making, while you are working.”

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/waltonclubor call 770-207-6279.



 

Celebrating WCBGC Teen of the Month

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For Walton County Boys & Girls Club members being named Teen of the Month is a big deal - it’s highlighting those Club members growth and leadership skills within the Club. 

Teen member of the Month, Jashanti S., who’s been a member for six years, said “I am glad I can come here and talk to other people about different ideas and try new things.”

She notes that she appreciates how the staff helps her work on her speaking skills and character. 

Jashanti was recognized as Teen of the Month for her leadership during Power Hour, where Club members work together on their homework. 

“She’s the first Club member to initiate homework and always guiding others to participate in Power Hour,” Lynn E. Hill, Walton County Boys & Girls Club Director shared. “What I am most proud of in Jashanti is that she’s learning to use her voice more in regard to voicing her concerns about the community, her school, her church, and life in general.”

Hill said that Jashanti’s grades have improved tremendously because she’s been “communicating more with her Club staff and the teachers at her school. She’s helped in connecting us to what work she needs the most help in. She’s always eager to get tutored and work on her homework.”

Jashanti says she’s thankful for her WCBGC mentor who tutors her, Tony Dillard. 

“Jashanti is extremely creative, loves dance and dreams of being a choreographer.  Jashanti has identified many of her strengths since joining the B&G Club of Walton,” Dillard shared. “She includes others in her conversations and is very respectful. The calm, wise and mature way she handles herself is evident in every interaction, every time. Jashanti is an asset to our Club and a natural born leader.”

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/waltonclub or call 770-207-6279.

Walton County Boys & Girls Club: January Highlights

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Walton County Boys & Girls Club

Lynn E. Hill

Club Director

The Walton County Boys & Girls Club has wrapped up another wonderful month in scholastic activities, character building, and developing lifestyles through the “BGC Way.”  In the month of January, we celebrated the advancements of Character Development by holding oratorical speeches made by our Youth of the Year, Mr. Ronnie Monford, III, who quoted in his speech, “Feed your passions, and starve your fears.” This speech was made as a highlight of celebration honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on January 18th, 2019.  On Friday, January 25th, 2019, the Walton Club introduced a new program, held during Assembly entitled, “Great Futures Start Here Spotlight”, in which Club Members can be recognized for their many accomplishments in academics, programs, or such talents as singing, dancing, rapping, poem-writing, and much more.  We also completed the month of January with a celebration of birthdays, an announcement of our newest volunteer, Mrs. Sherrie Blare, who introduced to our SMART Girls, an activity called, “Adult Coloring”, which brought out the creative energy of these girls, ages 10-14 years old, The Walton Club strives for amazing endeavors in the month of February 2019.

WCBGC Partners with Monroe Area High School

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The Walton County Boys & Girls Club recently developed a partnership with the Monroe Area High School highlighting the Special Needs Program of the School and the other Youth served at the Boys & Girls Club.  Each Friday, the group comes to the Club and makes a presentation to the members of the Club as well.  Club Director, Lynn E. Hill, presents with a certificate of appreciation for this groups willingness to present weekly to Club youth. Tangela Hester, Paraprofessional Coordinator, is present on behalf of the Monroe Area High School 

Putting a ‘Spotlight’ on WCBGC Talents

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What if you could share your talents with your peers, cheered on to pursue your passions and get useful critique from your peers to improve your skills? This happens every day in the 

Walton County Boys & Girls Club with its new Spotlight program, which helps Club members see the potential in their talents and have a support system to allow them to explore those talents. 

“We have so many youths with a variety of great ideas and directions they want to go in for their future,” Lynn E. Hill, WCBGC Director shared. “We wanted to give a space for our youth to showcase those talents and create a community of support for them. Those talents range from dancing to writing – to athletics.” 

During assembly’s every Friday at the Club, members have the opportunity to share a new song they learned, a new poem they wrote or share a new basketball skill for the court – everyone has an opportunity to showcase a talent. 

“This experience of being in the ‘Spotlight’ at the Club will help me be less shy and do what I love to do – singing,” Ricky R., WCBGC Club member shared. 

Mr. Hill said every Friday the Club youth arrive and are “excited about the opportunity to be recognized by those talents that they knew they had.  They just want a chance to prove it to the Club and beyond.”

A Club volunteer shared that this new program teaches important life skills such as character building and conflict resolution.  The positive effects of our program are easily seen when you watch the members learn and use new ways of communicating with each other, even more so, their gifts and talents.

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/waltonclub or call 770-207-6279.

WCBGC Volunteer Brings Art Talks to Club

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Art is a daily expression used within Walton County Boys & Girls Club to help Club youth learn new skills, have creative outlets and find new passions. For Sherrie Lee Blare, a WCBGC volunteer, she’s seen first-hand how the Club’s enriching youths lives daily.

“I began volunteering at the Walton County Boys & Girls Club at the beginning of January this year. During this short amount of time, I have learned so much from the members,” she shared. “Volunteering at WCBGC has made such a positive impact on my life.  I truly enjoy having meaningful conversations with Club youth, learning more about them and building relationships with Club members.”

Blare personally loves working with creative arts and adult coloring. She finds them a therapeutic exercise for herself. And, “it appears it does the same for our young members,” she said. 

“One day I stopped in with some adult coloring books and colored pencils. Little did I know that coloring would stimulate so many conversations.  These young ladies had me laughing the entire time,” she shared. “We talked and shared our ideas and our feelings.  The best part was the next time I came in several Club members came to me and asked if they could color and talk more!”

Blare says she had been interested in giving back and it’s been so rewarding to be a volunteer at WCBGC. 

“It’s just so important to give you time and attention to our youth,” she said. “Every interaction and conversation are an opportunity for character building.  Through volunteering at the B&G Club of Walton, you are opening doors for them that lead to their future success story.”

Volunteers, like Sherry, make a difference according to Lynn E. Hill, Walton County Boys & Girls Club’s Director.

“Ms. Sherrie has brought a new sense of purpose for the club members through her encouraging words and positive attitude,” he shared.  “She has new ideas and stimulating props that gives exposure to our staff, as well as our Club members. She’s given our Club members new skills to use and has opened their minds up to new ways to communicate feelings.”

To learn more about Walton County Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcncg.com/waltonclub or call 770-207-6279.