Helping youth become responsible, caring citizens and acquire skills for participating in the democratic process is the main thrust of these programs. They also develop leadership skills and provide opportunities for planning, decision-making, contributing to Club and community and celebrating our national heritage.
Studies show that young people who engage in service do better in school, maintain positive relationships with adults and avoid risky behaviors. BGCA’s Million Members, Million Hours of Service efforts will help Boys & Girls Clubs increase the number of youth participating in volunteer and service projects to 1 million members each donating at least one hour of service in a single year.
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.
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.
Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club teens. Club members who earn the youth of the Year title embody the values of leadership service; academic excellence; and healthy lifestyles.
BGCA has implemented the programmatic strategy Every Member, Every Year, designed so that all Clubs, no matter their size or resources, can partner with youth, parents, schools and other community stakeholders to implement at least one of three approaches: academic enrichment and school engagement; targeted dropout prevention; and intensive intervention and case management. Our aim is to ensure that all Club members graduate from high school on time, ready for a post-secondary education and a 21st-century career.
Summer Brain Gain is a fun, educational program that aims to prevent summer learning loss and keep kids on track for the coming school year.
Supported by Staples, Summer Brain Gain: READ! is a 12-week summer reading program to improve the reading skills of youth with a new book presented each week per age group.
These initiatives 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.
Date SMART is a supplement to SMART Girls and Passport to Manhood for Club members ages 13 to 18. Through fun and easy-to-use sessions, members learn how to achieve mutually supportive relationships free of violence and abuse.
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.
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.
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.