Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Parkview Boys & Girls Club receives award

Posted: Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County has been nominated for the 2017 Out of School Champion Showcase Award from the Indiana Afterschool Network. Last summer Ashley Allen, director of operations, had an idea for a program targeted towards some of the most at-risk teen boys.

That spark of an idea turned out to be an amazing program worthy of a statewide award. The program, titled “The Greatest,” took the life of Muhammad Ali using his motivations and experiences to show how he developed into the influential man he became. The program met a few times each week, each meeting consisting of the boys reading and discussing the book, writing letters to their fathers, and even preparing for and holding a debate over the United States draft.

The boys were assigned sides for the debate and a male staff member to mentor them through the steps of a debate. During the debate community members came in to see the debate, while some served as our panel of judges. Along with community members supporting the boys, each one had at least one family member in attendance. The Greatest program concluded with a trip to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. This program was selected as one of 40 programs that applied and one of the six that were chosen as finalists.

Allen said, “I knew getting teen boys to read a book during the summer was an audacious task, while the book was a small part of the program it was a key component. As I explained why I wanted them to be a part of The Greatest, I gave each of them two copies of the book; one for them and one for another teen boy they felt would be a good addition to the group. My relationship with the boys grew from one of an occasional conversation in passing, to the boys knocking on my door every morning at 9:45 a.m. to get ready for our meetings.”

Shown in the photo is Ashley Allen, left, director of operations and Desiree Frederick both of the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County.