Sometimes just giving a child some direction or a little bit of tough love could make all of the difference. That\u2019s what Shaye Roscoe, director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, sees through her work there. \u201cThe out-of-school hours from 3 to 6 are as important to our children\u2019s development as in-schoool or at-home hours are,\u201d Roscoe said. \u201cAfter school can\u2019t be an after thought.\u201d She has the stories that show the results. It turns out one child, who was coming in every day looking sort of disheveled, needed a push to get back on track in school. Roscoe said that one day she said, \u201cDo me a favor, let me see your backpack and let me see what\u2019s going on.\u201d Inside there were papers everywhere. She then approached his teacher at Long Hill School, who knew the child in question. The teacher said he hadn\u2019t been handing in his homework. Through a collaborative effort, things turned around. The child was told by staff at the club that he couldn\u2019t play certain competition games in the game room until his homework was finished. That didn\u2019t go over too well. But, after two days, he started working on his homework. \u201cWithin three months, that child was handing in his homework every day,\u201d said Roscoe. \u201cThat\u2019s what we try to do in here. We try to help navigate them.\u201d Many programs The Boys & Girls Club at 1 Positive Place in Shelton is conducting its annual Back A Kid program to help raise funds to continue to support what it does. It offers programs to help youth with money management, and the Torch Club and Keystone Club help with volunteering in the community and to act as role models to youth in need. There is also a homework help room, where an adult is on hand to see and help who\u2019s struggling. In the gym, staff walk around often to see if they can give the kids a quick pointer with how to do a sit-up, throw a basketball or hold a pool cue. If they see any child who could benefit from a coordinated effort of staff intervention \u2014 such as the example of getting the student to do his homework \u2014 staff get together and make a plan. Raising funds \u201cOur Back A Kid fund-raiser\u2019s main focus is, and will be, our general operating [budget],\u201d said Roscoe. Annually, the club runs on a $1.6-million budget. \u201cWhen you\u2019re working at a Boys & Girls Club, our main mission is to guide ... [and] to help our kids become successful citizens,\u201d said Roscoe. Most of their programming is after school, but they also have summertime programs available. Anyone may donate any amount to the club. \u201cWe\u2019re trying to have kids in an after-school program that would be cost effective for parents\u201d and scholarships are offered to students whose parents may not be able to pay, Roscoe said. There are other programs to help students find what they\u2019re interested in, like the emergent science-based program. \u201cThe kids have so much fun, they don\u2019t realize they\u2019re learning,\u201d said Roscoe. They come out laughing and excited about what experiment they did that day, she said. \u2018A bridge\u2019 Roscoe said she knows teachers are \u201cswamped\u201d with their jobs, and that it is good to have an organization like the Boys & Girls Club to help support the work they started inside of school. \u201cWe really try to act as a bridge with the school,\u201d said Roscoe. She said the club and the schools have the same mission, to help students learn and become productive citizens. \u201cIf we\u2019re all working towards it, the chances of that child becoming more successful has risen even greater,\u201d she said. Roscoe said the club can be for any level student: The student of a single parent, working two jobs, who may not have enough time to help them with their homework or engage them in a constructive after-school activity, to the student who has two parents at home and would like to give back. \u201cSome of the kids can be challenging,\u201d said Roscoe. \u201cBut, you can\u2019t just quit on them.\u201d Membership is open for youth 6 to 18 years old in Shelton and the Valley. For more information or to make a donation, visit bgc-lnv.org and scroll to the bottom of the page; or call 203-924-7462.