These academic programs enable youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations, and embrace technology to achieve success in a career.
- 74% of Club members ages 12 to 17 who attend regularly earn mostly A’s and B’s
- 82% of regularly attending members who participates in Club college or career preparation programs applied to some sort of post-secondary educational institution
- 69% of Club seniors from low-income families are likely to enroll in college
These programs make it possible for youth to develop personal fitness, make positive use of leisure time, learn skills for stress management, appreciate the environment, improve social skills, develop and engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, and set personal goals and live successfully as self-sufficient adults.
- 30% of Club Girls get daily physical activity compared to 23% nationally
- By 12th grade, 83% of Club teens are more likely to abstain from alcohol compared to 52% nationally
- 88% are more likely to abstain from marijuana
Good Character & Citizenship
These programs empower youth to support and influence their Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process, and respect their own and others’ cultural identities.
- 91% of Club members who attend regularly say they can stand up for what is right even if their friends disagree
- 46% of regularly attending teen volunteer at least once per month
- By 12th grade, 66% of Club members volunteer in their community compared to 29% nationally
Project Learn reinforces the academic enrichment and school engagement of young people during the time they spend at the Club.
This strategy is based on research demonstrating that students do much better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun, but academically beneficial, activities. Through Project Learn, Club staff use all the areas and programs in the Club to create opportunities for these high-yield learning activities, which include leisure reading, writing activities, discussions with knowledgeable adults, helping others, homework help, tutoring, and games (such as Scrabble) that develop young people’s cognitive skills. Project Learn also emphasizes parent involvement and collaboration between Club and school professionals as critical factors in creating the best after-school learning environment for Club members ages 6 to 18.
Club Tech is an ambitious, multi-year initiative that provides Boys & Girls Clubs with state-of-the-art software!
Today’s youth have a familiarity with technology unlike generations that have preceded them, a skill that is vital to success in school and on the job. Yet with more than 8 million young people lacking regular access to a computer, many will be left facing life-long challenges. Club Tech, our digital literacy program, aims to make technology accessible, intriguing, and fun. Through the Club Tech suite of programs, kids learn how to use basic business software, be safe online, and learn advanced hardware and networking skills. From basic technical skills curriculum to Game Tech (an introduction to video game development and principles of game design, animation mechanics, and software) kids are well prepared to achieve success in school and in their careers. With the support of sponsors Microsoft and Comcast, Boys & Girls Clubs around the world are delivering Club Tech programs to some 1 million kids and teens every year to build digital skills, access technology resources, expand creativity, perform better in school, and eventually take their technology know-how into the workplace.
Junior Staff is a small-group program that is both practical and user friendly.
Junior Staff assist Club members ages 13 to 18 in exploring a career in youth or human services, particularly Boys & Girls Club work. Young people prepare for future roles as human services professionals by participating in career development activities, discovering the importance of community service, building customer service skills, and completing a Club apprenticeship. By implementing this program, we make an investment in the development of our Club members’ interpersonal skills, work ethic, and sense of community responsibility.
Power Hour: Making Minutes Count provides Club professionals with the strategies, activities, resources and information to create an engaging homework help and tutoring program that encourages Club members at every age to become self-directed learners.
The Power Hour materials provide practical tips and best practices for recognition and incentives, behavior management, volunteer recruitment and training, collaboration with other organizations, and use of technology and the Internet.
Money Matters promotes financial responsibility and independence among Club members ages 13 to 18. Participants learn how to manage a checking account, create a budget, save and invest, start small businesses, and pay for college.
The Money Matters Facilitator’s Guide provides Club staff and volunteers with basic financial information and instructions for the small-group activities that are easy to implement. The fun, attractive Teen Personal Finance Guide contains practical tips and activities to help teens learn to balance a checkbook, create a budget, and save and invest for college and retirement. The Money Matters website helps teens build their money management skills through interactive activities, games and tools such as a savings and financial aid calculator to help them plan for college.
Preparing teens for our nation’s workforce.
CareerLaunch encourages Club members ages 13 to 18 to assess their skills and interests, explore careers, make sound educational decisions, and prepare to join our nation’s work force. Club staff or volunteers use the Career Exploration Quick Reference Guide to work with teens individually or in small groups to build their job-search skills and job readiness. The easy-to-read CareerLaunch Teen Tips is pocket sized and full of practical job-hunting advice for young people. The CareerLaunch website provides Club teens, staff, and volunteers with online career exploration, college and job search information, and interactive activities. Mentoring, job shadowing and training opportunities round out the program.
BE GREAT: Graduate is BGCA’s dropout prevention program.
This program is designed to enhance each Club member’s engagement with learning by providing consistent support from caring and trusted adults in developing the academic, emotional, and social skills needed to achieve academic success. This program uses the early warning signals — attendance, behavior, and course failure — to identify youth at risk of dropping out of school.
A Component of the Triple Play Program
Designed to incorporate healthy living and active learning in every part of the Club experience, Healthy Habits emphasizes good nutrition, regular physical activity and improving overall well-being. The program, for ages 6 to 15, is the Mind component of Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul. Learn more about this comprehensive program.
WANNA PLAY? encourages youth ages 6 to 12 to increase their overall fitness and health through physical activity and improved nutrition education, while learning the fundamental skills of baseball and softball.
WANNA PLAY? increases members’ physical fitness by focusing on agility, balance, and coordination. This program features a variety of fun and engaging activities and games to help Club members improve their fitness, increase awareness of good nutrition and hydration, and learn basic baseball and softball skills and knowledge.
Passport to Manhood promotes and teaches responsibility in Club boys ages 11 to 14.
Passport to Manhood consists of 14 sessions, each concentrating on a specific aspect of character and manhood through highly interactive activities. Each Club participant receives his own “passport” to underscore the notion that he is on a personal journey of maturation and growth. The program includes a service project where boys learn the importance of giving back to the community. Passport to Manhood represents a targeted effort to engage young boys in discussions and activities that reinforce character, leadership and positive behavior.
The SMART Moves (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) prevention/education program addresses problems such as drug and alcohol use and premature sexual activity.
The program uses a team approach involving Club staff, peer leaders, parents and community representatives. More than simply emphasizing a “Say No” message, the program teaches young people ages 6 to 15 how to say no by involving them in discussion and role-playing, practicing resistance and refusal skills, developing assertiveness, strengthening decision-making skills and analyzing media and peer influence. The ultimate goal: to promote abstinence from substance abuse and adolescent sexual involvement through the practice of responsible behavior.
An outgrowth of the popular and effective SMART Moves program, SMART Girls is a health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls ages 8 to 17.
The program is designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable early adolescent girls to develop to their full potential.
Good Character & Citizenship
BGCA’s premier recognition program for Club members
Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. The program is most effective when used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities. Local Clubs recognize members ages 14 to 18 as Youth of the Month winners and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competitions. State winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.
Torch Clubs are chartered, small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11 to 13.
A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their life. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to implement activities in four areas: service to Club and community; education; health and fitness; and social recreation.
Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s ultimate teen program.
This unique leadership development experience provides opportunities for young people ages 14 to 18. Youth participate, both in and out of the Club, in activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service. With the guidance of an adult advisor, Keystone Clubs aim to have a positive impact on members, the Club and community.
Our Club youth work hand-in-hand with one another to give back to their community.
Enjoy this video, highlighting two recent community service projects.
Through a comprehensive set of interventions, the Youth for Unity program aims to promote and celebrate diversity while combating prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination.
Youth for Unity features age-appropriate programming for youth ages 6 to 12, teens and parents, training and resources for Club professionals, and a leadership awards program. The program builds the capacity of local Clubs to help their members appreciate themselves as unique and special individuals, understand diversity in society, recognize bias and unfairness, and take personal leadership in confronting bias.