CHARACTER & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Programs in this Core Program Area 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.
- GOALS FOR GROWTH: Goals for Growth teaches Club members ages 8-12 skills for setting and achieving goals, helps them identify their own strengths and enhances their self-esteem by reinforcing their progress and recognizing their success in realizing their goals. Members set goals in six areas: Club involvement; discovery of new knowledge, skills or pastimes; service to others; school improvement; personal improvement and career awareness.
- YOUTH OF THE MONTH: Senior and Junior members are selected to compete for the monthly recognition award. Youth are selected by staff based on display of Club values, participation, and behavior exemplifying Club teachings. Each month one Junior (8 – 13) and one Senior (14 – 18) are chosen. At the end of the year, all those who were Youths of the Month are invited to participate in the competition to become the Youth of the Year for the Club. All Youth of the Month also attend a free dinner once a year sponsored by Zebs.
- YOUTH OF THE YEAR: Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier youth recognition program for Club members. All members can benefit from participation in this program, which promotes and celebrates service to Club, community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. The Youth of the Year 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 14-18 who were Youths of the Month and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competition. State winners participate in regional competition. Five regional winners each receive an engraved plaque and a $5,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $10,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States. Reader’s Digest Foundation has sponsored the Youth of the Year program for more than 50 years.
- TEEN SUPREME KEYSTONE CLUB: Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s most dynamic teen program. Keystone Clubs are chartered leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 14-18. Keystoners elect officers and implement activities in six areas: service to Club and community, character and leadership development, education and career exploration, unity, free enterprise and social recreation. Taco Bell Foundation sponsors the national Keystone Club program as part of the multi-year TEENSupreme initiative, a strategic partnership between the foundation and BGCA that equips Clubs with the tools and resources to create a positive place for teens as well as for kids. TEENSupreme is a registered trademark of the Taco Bell Foundation.
- TORCH CLUB: Torch Clubs are chartered small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13. 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 development. 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. Staples Foundation for Learning, Inc. and Staples, Inc. sponsor the Torch Club program.
EDUCATION & CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Programs in this Core Program Area enable youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations and embrace technology to acheive success in a career.
- CAREER LAUNCH: CareerLaunch encourages Club members ages 13-18 to assess their skills and interests, explore careers, make sound educational decisions and prepare to join our nation’s ever-changing work force. Mentoring and job shadowing opportunities for Club teens and training for Club staff round out the program. The Gap Foundation sponsors CareerLaunch.
- DRAGONFLY QUEST: Dragonfly Quest shows Club members ages 10-15 how to conduct their own investigations using the scientific method. Dragonfly Quest builds members’ skills in science, math and language arts and helps members think critically about the world around them as they explore topics that appeal to them. BGCA and MiamiUniversity’s Project Dragonfly collaborated to develop the program.
- GOALS FOR GRADUATION: Goals for Graduation, a Project Learn program, introduces academic goal setting to Club members ages 6-15 by linking their future aspirations with concrete actions today. Members create an action plan with daily and weekly goals leading to short- and long-term academic gains. An encouraging recognition strategy buoys members as their successes are recognized and supported at every step of their journey. The JCPenney Afterschool Fund sponsors Goals for Graduation.
- MONEY MATTERS: Money Matters promotes financial responsibility and independence among Club members ages 13-18 by building their basic money management skills. Participants learn how to manage a checking account, budget, save and invest. They also learn about starting small businesses and paying for college. The Charles Schwab Foundation sponsors Money Matters: Make It Count.
- POWER HOUR: The program provides Club professionals with strategies, activities, resources and information to create an engaging homework help and tutoring program that encourages Club members ages 6-12 and 13-18 to become self-directed learners. The JCPenney Afterschool Fund sponsors Power Hour: Making Minutes Count.
- PROJECT LEARN: Project Learn reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school during the hours they spend at the Club. This comprehensive strategy is based on Dr. Reginald Clark’s research showing that students do much better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun, educational activities. 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 6-18. Extensively field-tested and formally evaluated by Columbia Universitywith funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Project Learn has been proven to boost the academic performance of Club members. The JCPenney Afterschool Fund underwrote the initial implementation of this educational enhancement approach in Clubs across the nation.
- PROJECT G.P.A.: A program that focuses on helping middle school students with their school work and homework. The goal is to help students improve by at least one letter grade while they are in the program. Over the long term improved understanding, better study habits, and more classroom engagement will occur. These should help improve the transition to high school thereby reducing the incidence of drop outs.
- GIRLS ROCK!: A club for girls ages 10 – 14 teaching the science, math, and technology in a fun and secure environment. Girls are encouraged to become investigators in any area they choose and to bring out the possible science or technology in any subject or activity. Activities include Internet research, building robots, engineering challenges, and crime investigation.
- JOB TRAINING: The concession employs high school youth who want to learn about having a job. The youth are all Club members and this program gives them their very first venture into the job market.
- SCIENCE/MATH CLUB: A program concentrating on a different scientific or mathematical area each month. Some have included building, astronomy, and money.
The Walmart Foundation has funded a literacy initiative called the Walmart Bright Spot For Reading aimed at increasing adolescent reading. Intended outcomes are a community of readers sharing the joy of reading, opportunities to discover the treasures provided by the local library, participation in the BGCA online community myclubmylife.com to find more ways reading can be cool.
ConocoPhillips has funded a 4-year program to work with some of the highest at-risk of school dropout youth in the Farmington Municipal Schools. With this funding, the Club will be implementing an evidence-based program from University of Minnesota, Check & Connect, which works with each youth in the program over a 4-year period to help them stay in school, make annual on-time grade progression, and graduate high-school on time.
HEALTH & LIFE SKILLS
Programs in this area develop young people’s capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, set personal goals and live successfully as self-sufficient adults.
- SMART MOVES: (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) is a nationally acclaimed comprehensive prevention program helps young people resist alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, as well as premature sexual activity. The program features engaging, interactive small group activities designed to increase participants’ peer support, enhance their life skills, build their resiliency and strengthen their leadership skills. The program’s components include: SMART Kids, for children ages 6-9, Start SMART, for youth ages 10-12, Stay SMART, for youth ages 13-15 and SMART Parents, for parents of Club members participating in SMART Moves. The recent updating and revision of SMART Moves was made possible through funding from the DeWitt Wallace – Reader’s Digest Fund.
- SMART GIRLS: An outgrowth of the popular SMART Moves program, SMART Girls is a health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls ages 8-17. The program focuses on issues specific to female Club members and is designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable those members to develop to their full potential. From interactive role playing to more tailored mentoring, girls are given the opportunity to explore personal and societal values as they build skills for eating right, staying fit, getting good health care and developing positive relationships. The current version of SMART Girls was funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
- TALKING WITH TJ: An exciting educational program to improve teamwork skills of planning, cooperating, and appreciating differences. The program encourages children to work and play together in more caring and cooperative ways, a very important goal in today’s culturally diverse society.
- T.R.A.I.L.: Together Raising Awareness for Indian Life, Diabetes Prevention – is an innovative combination of Physical, educational, and nutritional activities that promote healthy lifestyles. T.R.A.I.L. is a 12-week program that provides young people with an age appropriate understanding of healthy lifestyles aimed at helping to prevent diabetes.
Programs in this area enable youth to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of the visual arts, crafts, performing arts and creative writing.
- IMAGE MAKERS: A comprehensive photography program for all Club members from ages 6 – 18. This National Photography Program has been created so that Club members can see the world and themselves in a different way. Photography is taught in four different ways: as a way of seeing; as a way of expressing; as a way of documenting; as a way of storytelling. Good photography programs may help Club members achieve in education and technology. Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, a 2000 study conducted through the Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, states that according to its findings, “learners can attain higher levels of achievement through their engagement with the arts.” Similarly, studies of arts programs in out-of-school time have found that achievement in school is linked to participation by young people in high-quality arts programs. This program is sponsored by the Circuit CityFoundation.
- ARTS & CRAFTS: Members engage in a wide variety of options and learn many different types of art. they create projects which are used as thank yous for sponsors, show what our members can accomplish to the community, and to take home.
- MUSIC LESSONS: the club offers a full range of private music lessons for members. Instruments range from piano to drums and everything in between including voice. Costs are minimal.