Mission & History
Mission & History
Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County provides young people, ages 5 to 18, in Mercer County with social, enrichment and recreational activities through after-school, weekend, and summer programs. Our Boys & Girls Clubs after school and enrichment programs focus on improving youth outcomes in education & careers, character development & leadership, and developing healthy lifestyles through physical activity and healthy living.
Each year, more than 2,600 youths in the Greater Mercer County area attend programs in our Trenton Clubhouse, six public school sites in the City of Trenton, and our Clubhouse in Lawrence Township. Teens from five area high schools enroll in job preparation programs, complete paid internships, and prepare for post-graduate careers. More than 700 children and teens attend our summer camps.
In 1937 the Boys Club of Trenton was formed to provide programs and services for the children and young people of Trenton. A group of businessmen (F. E. Schluter, Sr., James Kerney, Jr., Joseph Roebling, C. E. Stokes, Jr., John L. Williamson, and J. S. Hill – later joined by C. B. Gilbert, Sr.) visualized the need for a building-centered recreational, educational, and leisure-time facility for young boys and they gathered to form the Boys Club of Trenton.
As part of a national organization, the Club grew quickly in program sites and number of children served. Today the Boys & Girls Club of Trenton & Mercer County serves more than 2,300 boys and girls each year at its Centre Street facility and 11 school-based sites.
Here are some highlights of the growth of the Boys & Girls Club.
In 1937, the Boys Club of Trenton was formed to provide programs and services for the children and young people of Trenton. A group of businessmen (F. E. Schluter, Sr., James Kerney, Jr., Joseph Roebling, C. E. Stokes, Jr., John L. Williamson, and J. S. Hill – later joined by C. B. Gilbert, Sr.) saw the need for a building-centered recreational, educational, and leisure-time facility for young boys and formed the Boys Club of Trenton.
Reservoir Club leased from the City of Trenton. Three rooms: gym, large athletic field, and pool.
1943 Skelton School leased from the City of Trenton for the Centre Street Boys Club. This had been the first free public school in the State of New Jersey. Three game rooms, woodshop, library, club room, gym, craft rooms and yard, serving well over 1,000 boys at this time. 1952 The old Roebling School leased from the City becomes the 11th Ward Boys Club. Two classrooms for a gym, two game rooms, woodshop, library, craft room and yard. 1955 Centre Street Club builds 25' x 50' pool, donated by the Junior League of Trenton 1960
The Board and the Junior League raises $80,000 to buy property north of the Centre Street Club and erect a full-size gymnasium.
Under outgoing president Charles E. Stokes, Jr., and incoming president J. Stuart Hill, the Club starts a $500,000 capital campaign to build a new Club in northwest Trenton and at Centre Street.
1964 11th Ward Boys Club closes 1965
Pennington Avenue Boys Club is dedicated with President Richard M. Nixon, board chairman of Boys Clubs of America, presiding.
1969 Skelton School (Centre Street Club) is demolished, and a new building erected. This entails raising an additional $75,000 in a quiet campaign chaired by C. Shelley Acuff, J.S. Hill, and Herbert F. Moore. 1975 Two additional lots north of the Centre Street Club are purchased and construction of 2000 sq. ft. of additional program space is completed under the presidency of Bernie R. Butler. 1984
The Club sells the Pennington Avenue property to the YMCA.
Boys Club becomes Boys & Girls Club.
Roxanne Spillett becomes the first woman to head the national Boys & Girls Club organization.
Rotary Club of Trenton places members on the Board of Trustees of the Club to support its success and invests funds from its Foundation to make facility improvements.
Keystone Club receives 3 of 6 program awards at the Northeast Regional Conference.
Janet Krawtschenko named President of the Board of Directors becoming the first female President of the board.
Club purchases its first 54 passenger bus and opens school-based after school programs to increase the number of youth served daily to 500 kids.
Club is awarded a five-year 21st Century Grant to support 200 middle school youth in after school programming. Daily attendance is now close to 900 youth per day.
Pool at Centre Street Clubhouse is replaced. More Than Hope Campaign is launched.
Club opens new community center on Spruce Street in Lawrence Township.
Club celebrates 80 years of service.
Groundbreaking of the Centre Street Community Garden and Learning Center.
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