Education & Career Development
Boys & Girls Clubs of America 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.
A comprehensive homework help and tutoring program, Power Hour is designed to raise the academic proficiency of Club members by ensuring that they have scheduled time each week to study with the supervision and assistance of a certified educational tutor.
After-school tutoring is available to all Club members.
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.
Diplomas to Degrees (d2D)
A college readiness program provides a range of services to guide Club members as they work toward high school graduation and prepare for post-secondary education and career success. Club staff have access to a Facilitator’s Guide with fun high-yield activities and a Teen College Guide, complete with tips on achieving academic success and planning for post-secondary education.
Graduate for Más
Graduate for Más is a program track offered to Club members in partnership with Taco Bell Foundation, as an extension of Taco Bell Foundation’s national initiative that provides tools and resources to teens while tracking their progress toward graduation and life goals. Through our recently expanded partnership, we will prepare rising 8th and 9th graders for a successful transition into high school, while introducing teens of all ages to higher education opportunities and career goals beyond high school.
Summer Brain Gain
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 Disney and Old Navy, the program is comprised of 17 one-week modules with themed activities for elementary school, middle school and high school students. Each module takes a project-based learning approach; youth engage in a process of learning through discovery, creative expression, group work and a final project or production.
Career Launch 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 help teens build their job-search skills and job readiness by using the CareerLaunch Facilitator Guide and working with teens individually or in small groups. The CareerLaunch page 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.
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.
A recent evaluation of 1,600 teens from more than 100 Boys & Girls Clubs demonstrated the Money Matters program helped them become smarter about money. Youth showed improvement on 94% of survey questions asked before and after taking the program in their Club.
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.
Passport to Manhood
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. SMART Girls offers young women – ages 8 to 17 – guidance toward healthy attitudes and lifestyles, eating right, staying fit, getting good health care and more.
Encouraging young women to have healthy attitudes and lifestyles, SMART Girls helps them reach their full potential. Through dynamic sessions, group activities, field trips and mentoring opportunities with adult women, Club girls enjoy the opportunity to build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care, and developing positive relationships.
Other topics addressed include how the media influences attitudes about females; date rape and sexual harassment; sexually transmitted diseases; sexual myths and truths; getting regular gynecological care; and physical and emotional changes girls experience.
Triple Play is a comprehensive health and wellness program. The program strives to improve the overall health of Club members ages 6-18 by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching them good nutrition and helping them develop healthy relationships.
Sports, Fitness, & Recreation
These Club programs help develop fitness, a positive use of leisure time, reduction of stress, appreciation for the environment and social and interpersonal skills. Activities include basketball, volleyball, gyms, playgrounds, gamerooms, board game competitions, and tournaments.
Character & Leadership Development
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. Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia members have the opportunity to learn planning, decision-making and ways to contribute to the Club and the greater Central Georgia community.
Keystone 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.
Keystone Club members and their advisors can be nominated to steering committees that organize regional and national Keystone Conferences attended by thousands of Keystone members each year. Keystone Club Awards are bestowed annually on Keystone Clubs that implement programs and activities that best promote the Keystone Club principles. Each year, hundreds of local Keystone Clubs work together on a service project known as the National Keystone Project.
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.
The National Torch Club Awards are presented annually to Torch Clubs with outstanding programs and activities in each area. Each year, Torch Club members from across the country take part in a service learning experience through the National Torch Club Project. Cash awards ranging from $500 to $2,500 are presented to the top entries.
Youth of the Year
The National Youth of the Year Program is designed to promote and recognize service to Club and community, academic performance and contributions to family and spiritual life. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia organization selects a Youth of the Year who receives a certificate and $1000 scholarship and then enters state competition. State winners receive a plaque and enter the regional competition. Regional winners receive an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Six youth, including five regional winners and a military winner, advance to the National Youth of the Year competition, held in Washington, D.C. for a chance at an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable up to $100,000 for four years, and is installed by the President of the United States.