A Parent's Voice
Every day at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, relationships are being built. There’s a great deal of trust involved; trust between staff and youth as well as the trust between the Club and parents. The deep investment in the young people of Richmond and Petersburg is paramount.
Taneall Scroggins is one of those parents that has built a long-lasting, dynamic relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond.
She was first introduced to the Clubs about 12 years ago when her son, Michael, began attending the summer program at the former Harrison Street Club in the West End. When Michael reached middle school, he began attending year-round. For Taneall, she wanted to make sure that her son had positive male role models in his life and she found that in the Club.
“They gave him the extra support that he needed, whether it was helping with homework or taking him to a basketball game,” Taneall said. “They were a bunch of great men that have become lifelong friends.”
She saw the impression it had on Michael and recalled how much he enjoyed being involved with the Club, especially the week-long trips to Camp Littlehawk.
“Sometimes he’d come home and say they had an extra spot for the next trip. We would literally go home, wash his clothes and pack him back up to go again. One summer, I think he went three weeks in a row,” Taneall laughed.
While Michael is now a young adult, Taneall is connected to the Northside Club through her 13-year-old daughter Iyana, who has been coming to the Club for seven years.
“I come in the door and the staff is all so welcoming, it’s like a family,” she said.
Those relationships that are built within the Clubs create a support system for young people and their families when times get tough. When Iyana’s father unexpectedly passed away last year, staff members, like Jade Tabb and Marvin Green, were there for her.
“They were just tremendous,” Taneall said. “Even now, they have been a great support for her.”
“Boys & Girls Clubs has gone above and beyond for my child as well as the other kids, so the least I can do is give my time.”
Taneall always finds time be at the Club even though she has a busy schedule on top of her full-time job at Bon Secours. She understands the importance of supporting a program that has provided her children with so much.
“Boys & Girls Clubs has gone above and beyond for my child as well as the other kids, so the least I can do is give my time,” Taneall said. She makes herself available for anything the Club staff may need whether that’s sitting at the desk answering a phone, decorating for a special event, picking up the food for a gathering, handing out book bags or sending an email to other parents.
“I had another parent ask me the other day how I got so involved. I told her, ‘I just show up.’”
From other parents to members to staff, Taneall’s level of engagement is recognized by all. That’s why she was asked to help shape the future Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond as part of their strategic planning task force. The group was comprised of 16 administrators, staff, board members, and community members.
“For them to even to think about inviting a parent was great,” Taneall said. As the conversations began, she quickly felt that sense of trust. She saw that her opinions and suggestions about the day-to-day operations of the Clubs were being valued as the trusted voice of the parents, and the kids.
“Sign up. Be involved. Volunteer. Donate. Be engaged. Be positive. Talk to the staff. Walk the building. See the artwork. See what the kids are doing.”
After being involved in the task force, Taneall is excited for the future of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, especially with the increased teen programming and services for families.
“There’s a big need for what Boys & Girls Clubs is doing,” Taneall said. She knows the work wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and the investment from the staff.
“Sign up. Be involved. Volunteer. Donate. Be engaged. Be positive. Talk to the staff. Walk the building. See the artwork. See what the kids are doing,” Taneall said. “If your children are involved in something, you need to be involved. That’s what helps things run smoothly when everyone sees parents are active and engaged.”