The Boys and Girls Clubs of America is the positive place for kids. The club provides a safe place for kids to learn and grow, on-going relationships with caring adult professionals, life-enhancing programs and character developing experiences, hope and opportunity. The Boys and Girls Club mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.
The Boys and Girls club is an actual neighborhood-based building that is designed for youth programs and activities. The club is open daily, after school, for kids that have free time and need a positive, productive outlet. Trained youth development professionals are providing positive role models and mentors for youth. The club is available and affordable to all youth. Membership fees are as low, averaging between $5 and $10 per year. Some membership statistics are:
64% are from minority families
11% are less than 7 years old
26% are 7-9 years old
30% are 10-12 years old
21% are 13-15 years old
10% are 16-18 years old
2% are more than 18 years old
55% are male
45% are female
There are five core program areas that provide an overall framework for programming in the Boys and Girls Club.
Education and Career Development
Education and career development programs allow youth to become better in basic disciplines, use learning in every day situations, and learn how to use technology to achieve greater success in a career. Some programs are Money Matters, Project Learn, Power Hour, Goals for Graduation, Goals for Growth, and CareerLaunch.
Character and Leadership Development
Enables youth to support and influence the Club and community, keep meaningful relationships with others and develop a positive self-image. Some leadership programs are Junior Leaders and Junior Staff, National Youth of the Year, Torch Clubs, and Keystone Club.
Health and Life Skills
There are programs that develop youth’s capacity to engage in positive behavior that develop their own well-being, set personal goals, and live successfully as adults. Some programs are Passport to Manhood, SMART Girls, SMART Moves, Cavity-Free Zone, and Kids in Control.
Allows youth to become better using their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and an appreciation for the visual arts, crafts, performing arts, and creative writing.
Sports, Fitness, and Recreation
These programs develop personal fitness, positive use of their time, skills for managing stress, conflict resolution, and social skills. This includes team sports, individual sports, Fitness Authority/Triple Play, workshops, and tournaments.
Alumni of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America include: Bill Cosby, Brad Pitt, Michael Jordan, Martin Sheen, Derek Jeter, Neil Diamond, Denzel Washington, and Alex Rodriguez. A survey of club alumni showed that 80% said Club staff helped them learn right from wrong, 95% indicated the Club was the best thing available in their community, 52% said participating in the Club “saved my life.”
To locate a Boys and Girls Club near you go to bgca.org and you can do a search to find one near you.