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Valparaiso Rotary New Leaders Turning Boys & Girls Clubs Members Into Readers!

Club Director for Valparaiso Boys & Girls Clubs, Kristina Balog, noticed a number of members who really enjoyed spending their time at Club reading a good book. The Valparaiso Club, always bustling with activity, didn’t have was a quiet and comfortable place for these young readers to enjoy their books.

“Our Club has so many different fun and engaging activities daily for kids, but there were a number of members who really just wanted to read a book. To further enhance their love for reading, our Club started a Book Group. The only problem was, there was no space in our Club that really allowed our readers to sit and enjoy and discuss their books - except for a storage room,” explains Balog.

Working on a solution for the Club’s readers, Kristina Balog was contacted by Valparaiso Rotary’s New Members Committee. “They were looking for a project, and our Club needed a reading space. I had this vision that the storage room could be transformed into a reading nook,” Balog explains further. Sharing this vision with Tracy Bergstrom and the New Members Committee, the excitement of a possible reading nook for the Club truly began to take shape.

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“I could not believe how passionate Valparaiso Rotary’s New Members Committee became over this little storage room. Committee members came and viewed the room, began drawing up plans, and then the real work began. It was such a team effort as everyone wanted to ensure a space for Club members who wanted to read,” states Balog.

After several weeks and engaging other local businesses, the Club’s storage room was transformed into a Reading Nook complete with comfortable seating, inviting décor, fun colors, and lots of books - and still space for some of the Club’s storage needs!

“We were so excited over this project,” states Deb Patterson of Valparaiso Rotary Club’s New Members Committee. “After talking with Tracy about a project at Valparaiso Boys & Girls Club, and then talking with Kris about what her Club really needed - we knew we were all putting kids first! She really wants to provide activities and programs for all Club members, and some kids just want to read. Seeing her enthusiasm made our committee really want to design this space for kids. It was a fun project that will have a lasting impact on youth. I am proud we could help make that happen,” Patterson further explains.

After the completion of the new Reading Nook, Club members were treated to a grand opening and all were more excited to see their new Club space with more books to read!

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County:
Opening doors to GREAT FUTURES for Porter County’s youth since 1971, our mission is to inspire and enable the youth of our communities to realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County operates four Club locations in Chesterton, Portage, South Haven and Valparaiso; manages a Club in Culver, Indiana; and houses before and after-school childcare programs, known as Kidstop, in nine school locations throughout three school districts. Clubs are open after school and provide a great place for youth in grades K-12 to meet friends and have fun while in a safe, supervised environment. When school is out, our Clubs are in! Clubs are open during holidays and in the summer. For information on membership, volunteer opportunities, please contact your local Club, call (219) 464-7282 or visit Great Futures Start HERE.

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