Boys Town New England provides housing and support for at-risk youth and families in Rhode Island, through their Family Home Program, Foster Family Services, Care Coordination, Visitation Services, and Parent Education Classes (Common Sense Parenting). Boys Town New England also works closely with the elementary schools in Pawtucket, RI to provide educators with the training of the Boys Town Model. They also work with families through their programs such as Care Coordination, and their In-Home Family Services. The Boys Town mission is to change “the way America cares for children and families,” and they are doing just that.
While the name “Boys Town” remains, the organization provides services and guidance for both boys and girls, up to the age of 18. Boys Town New England currently has two homes specifically dedicated to girls, at their Bazarsky Campus located in Portsmouth, RI, where they are headquartered. Boys Town New England was established on Aquidneck Island in 1991, but nationally, Boys Town has been in existence for over a century.
Andrew Chagnon, one of the runners on the 2019 Amica Newport Marathon Boys Town New England Team, with his wife and Boys Town Volunteer, Kim.
The Bazarsky Campus property consists of 18 acres, five homes located on a cul de sac. Each home has a married couple, referred to as Family Teachers, that live there full time so that the children are able to have the closest thing to a stable, family home environment as possible. Each couple is able to have between six and seven children in their home at a time. In these homes, the children are able to “learn social and independent-living skills that help them find success in school and in their community.”
Each home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, along with a large kitchen, dining room, and family room. According to Amanda Baker, the Development Director of Boys Town New England, “the most important part of the house is the dining room, Family Teachers make it a priority to sit down and eat dinner as a family and discuss their day; for most of the children who come to Boys Town, this is new to them.”
“Boys Town believes today, as our founder did 100 years ago, that every child deserves a future, every family deserves to stay together and every community deserves to thrive. And we believe that all of these things should be achievable without regard to race, religion or background.” Each year, the lives of 8,000 children and families in New England are changed for the better as a result of the services provided by Boys Town New England.
To learn more about Boys Town New England, or learn how to run for their team in the Amica Newport Marathon, visit https://www.boystown.org/locations/new-england/Pages/default.aspx