The boards of directors for Kids Korps USA and Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito have approved a plan to merge and develop a leading youth volunteer organization.
Earlier this year, the board of Kids Korps USA decided to investigate strategic alternatives that would let the organization’s programs be operated under another San Diego County youth development organization with greater programs and services. Through this merger, the Kids Korps USA mission, members and services will achieve economies of scale under the infrastructure of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.
“The creation of a vibrant and leading volunteer organization is an important initiative in our strategic plan,” said David H. Crean, president and CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito. “There is a continuing need to connect youth to volunteerism and ensure that the value of giving back and philanthropy is part of the next generation’s lifelong commitment to service. Volunteering has a substantial socio-economic and psychology impact on others, especially on those most in need. We are committed to continuing the legacy of Kids Korps USA, strengthening our mission, and offering youth and their families’ valuable opportunities in making a difference in the lives of others.”
Kids Korps USA, founded in 1995, is a leading national nonprofit youth volunteer organization. Its mission is to instill the spirit of giving while providing valuable education in leadership and civic responsibility. More than 325 community-based organizations have partnered with Kids Korps for their youth and adult volunteers to meet their program and service needs. Kids Korps has also partnered and operated more than 60 chapters with school and other community-based organizations across San Diego County.
The process and timeline for the integration will probably take up to three months to develop.
“We are very excited to be combining forces with the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito,” stated Kevin Harris, board chairman of Kids Korps USA. “Their mission to inspire and enable youth to achieve academic success, build good character and responsible citizenship and make healthy lifestyle choices is very much aligned with Kids Korps.
“Our members will now have access to our youth volunteerism projects and a broad range of extensive community-focused programs offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito. We look forward to working together through this transition and coming together to help strengthen the fabric of the San Diego Community through our youth.”
When youth volunteer, the larger community benefits. Volunteerism promotes positive citizenship among youth by encouraging them to be more engaged in their own communities. Youth who volunteer feel more connected to their community, are more likely to show concern, and to stay in or return to their communities. Thus, youth volunteerism contributes substantially to community vitality.
Studies suggest that youth volunteerism contributes to identity development, enhancement of skills (including increasing job marketability), increased self-esteem, development of empathy, and other improvements related to positive youth development.
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito offers numerous specialized programs for youth. Kids Korps will be among some of the unique programs offered at the club, which include: Center for a Healthy Lifestyle, helping mitigate childhood obesity by providing gardening, healthy cooking, and nutrition classes; Youth Arts Academy, offering music classes, rock band classes, private lessons, dance classes, and a theater and dramatic arts program for ages 5-18; Big 8 Middle School Sports, which worked in 2003 with the San Dieguito Union High School District to acquire all middle school athletic programs previously being offered by the district; and the Carmel Valley Montessori School, providing a nurturing, child-centered environment where individual needs are met at each development stage.