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MISSION & HISTORY

Mission and History

Mission:

The mission of the Boys & Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need help most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

The Boys & Girls Club provides a positive, safe and exciting environment for children to learn, grow and develop. We provide quality programs for children, teens, adults and families. Our three core areas of focus are: Health & Wellness, Education & Career Development and Character & Leadership.


History:

The Boys Club of Newport County was incorporated in 1956. Our first site was established at the Park Holm Community Center in the North End of Newport. By 1957, the Boys Club had leased the historic Thayer School building on Church Street, previously the site of Newport’s first high school, to allow the Club to serve more youth. In 1973, a concerned group of citizens, led by the late Justice Florence K. Murray, determined that services for girls were also needed and thus the Girls Club of Newport County was established and incorporated on January 14, 1974. On May 28, 1980 to strengthen the service potential of both agencies the two organizations merged to form the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County.

Originally the site of Rogers High School, the Church Street Building dates back to the late 1800s. From the time of the Thayer School closing in 1927 and through the next thirty years, the Church Street Building saw many uses, including the housing of a silversmith, the Newport Chamber of Commerce and a Visitor Center on Mill Street. Over the years, the Church Street Building has been host to many events significant to our community. Aside from visits from dignitaries such as President John F. Kennedy, the Clubhouse has had a special place in the hearts of many local community members who grew up in this facility. The Clubhouse has been the place where numerous youth learned how to swim, received much needed homework assistance, played basketball in the Flo Harvey Basketball League and made life-long friendships. The Building is dedicated to Thomas F. Hastings, Sr., the founder and executive director of the Boys Clubs & Girls Clubs of Newport County who was instrumental in propelling the the Club forward. 

Today, in addition to the Central Clubhouse on Church Street and the North End facilities at the Florence Gray Center, the Club also operates Camp Grosvenor, a 95-acre summer day camp in Saunderstown, RI. We are part of a nationwide movement of more than 4,000+ Boys & Girls Clubs and we provide services to more than 1,800 members annually.

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