SMARTfit and the Boys & Girls Club- Seattle’s Story
The SMARTfit team was deeply touched and inspired to receive this story from Ron Green, the Chief Executive Officer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region in North Carolina. Ron recently shared a story with us about how SMARTfit had impacted the life of one of his young members at his club named Seattle who has visual and auditory impairments. This really shows how SMARTfit and the Boys & Girls Club can make a positive impact the lives of youth across America.
“Can you imagine being a middle school student, who should be in High School, who’s legally blind and wears two hearing aids? On top of all that you have been in the foster care system most of your life.
Seattle joined the Lucy Ann Boddie Brewer Unit on a recommendation from the Department of Social Services to help her with academics, self esteem, and inclusion. You see if being two grades behind isn’t enough, try living with noticeable disabilities around other middle school students. When Seattle enrolled in the club she immediately exiled herself from the other club members. During homework and tutoring time she would turn her hearing aids off to avoid anyone asking her questions. When employees would help her with her homework she would manipulate them to do it for her. She was so withdrawn from others that she never competed in any activities in the gym during Triple Play Plus.
During one of the TPP sessions I was monitoring participation of an activity using the SMARTfit Wall. The teens participating were having a blast. As soon as one game ended they were begging to play again. The game got so competitive that I took off my suit coat and joined one of the teams. After being gassed after one round of a relay race through the alphabet (in which we won) I took a seat and noticed Seattle was not participating. At this time the game changed to finding the smiling emoji. I ask one of our new employees to ask Seattle why was she not participating and she responded that she did not know how to play.
After watching three games she still wouldn’t participate in the activity until the employee helped her. This was her way of manipulating someone to do the task for her but the employee only assisted. After the clock stopped and the game ended Seattle was in third place but you would have thought she finished first. The excitement on her face was the picture of achievement. The opportunity to be just like everyone else, to participate, to develop relationships, and to be included. All her life her disabilities have caused her to exile herself and now as a result of SMARTfit technology she experiences inclusion.
When it’s time to participate in TPP Seattle has the biggest grin on her face as she waits for the wall to light up. She doesn’t ask for help anymore and jumps right in when it’s time to play. Staff have been using the games to help her with her cognitive thinking to increase her academic success. When applying our youth development strategy we try to instill in every club member a sense of belonging, sense of competency, sense of power or influence, and a sense of usefulness. We now see a new Seattle at the club. One who belongs to an organization that cares and want to see her grow into what she can and should become despite her circumstance.”
Chief Executive Officer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region in North Carolina
SMARTfit and the Boy’s and Girls Club of America make a great team! Find out how SMARTfit works in a Non-Profit Community Center
Check out the SMARTfit Multi-Station Trainer it is a perfect addition to any facility low on staff with a high volume of members.
Find out how SMARTfit can help your community center get our systems in your facility by applying for a Matching Grant Opportunity.