With a focus on academic success, character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles our goal is to provide young people ages 6 to 18 with a safe, positive environment, supportive relationships, opportunities and expectations, recognition and fun.
Our Youth Development Strategy emphasizes the following:
In order to achieve academic and professional success, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Albemarle prepares our members to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations and embrace technology.
Junior Staff Career Development is a practical small-group program that assists Club teens, ages 13–18, in exploring a career in youth development or other human services, with a particular focus on Boys & Girls Club work. This program aims to mold a qualified, competent and committed workforce needed to fulfill the mission of Boys & Girls Club Movement.
Money Matters is a financial literacy program that uses interactive activities and exercises to educate teens, ages 13–18, on practical financial matters, including managing a checking account, budgeting, saving, investing and paying for college.
Homework completion is a critical component of young people’s academic success. Power Hour is an interactive homework help and tutoring program that encourages Club members, ages 6–18, to become self-directed learners. The short-term goal of this program is to help young people develop academic, behavioral and social skills through homework completion; the long-term goal is to ensure that youth graduate from high school, pursue post-secondary educations and become life-long learners.
Club members who exemplify our core values have the opportunity to be recognized as Youth of the Year. These youth must meet rigorous eligibility requirements for academic achievement, community involvement and leadership of younger Club members. Local Clubs begin by recognizing Youth of the Month, and then selecting their own Youth of the Year. These winners then have a chance to participate in the state, regional and national levels to win academic scholarships.
Dynamic leaders between the ages of 14-18 fill our Keystone Clubs. Keystoners devote their time to leadership and service in their communities. Each Keystone Club elects their own officers and implements their own activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service. Club members and their advisers are eligible to be nominated to steering committees, which organize regional and national conferences which are attended by Keystoners all over the nation.
Torch Clubs are leadership and service clubs for youths from ages 11–13. The goal of this program is to instill qualities of tolerance, civic duty, community involvement and leadership that promote an appreciation for the responsibilities of citizenship and the democratic process. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to plan and implement community service activities, educational opportunities, health and fitness projects and social recreation. Torch Club members also participate in service-learning experiences through the National Torch Club project.
The Triple Play program is a comprehensive strategy that nurtures the minds, bodies and souls of our members. The goal of the program is to improve Club members’ knowledge of healthy habits, good nutrition and physical fitness; increase the number of hours per day they participate in physical activities; and strengthen their ability to interact positively with others and engage in healthy relationships.
The passage from boyhood to manhood is challenging, requiring adolescent males to understand and manage many issues and transitions. Passport to Manhood addresses critical issues young men between the ages of 11–14 face during this time, such as ethics, decision making, wellness, fatherhood, employment and careers, cooperation and conflict, diversity, relationships and self-esteem.
Developing a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle starts at a young age. The SMART programs help our members resist alcohol, tobacco, drug use, and premature sexual activity. Based on proven teaching techniques, the program strives to increase peer support, enhance life skills, build resiliency and strengthen leadership skills. The SMART programs include SMART Kids for ages 6–9, Start SMART for ages 10–12, Stay SMART for ages 13–15 and SMART Parents. The ultimate goal is to promote responsible behavior.
Adolescent girls in our society face a multitude of temptations and unique problems that require special support. Female Club members need a safe setting in which they can address health and social issues unique to them and build the necessary skills to resist negative influences such as drugs, alcohol and premature sexual activity. SMART Girls helps girls from 8–17 years of age to develop and adopt a healthy attitude and lifestyle, as well as acquire and maintain a positive self-concept, sound decision-making skills and mentor relationships.
BGCA’s gang and violence prevention curriculum, Street SMART, offers expanded lessons in bullying prevention, as well as an emphasis on resiliency training to give Club members, ages 10–14, the skills they need to grow up confident, caring and responsible.