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Learning Center Experience
The first Boys Club of
America was formed in 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut, by three social-conscious
women: Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin, and Elizabeth Hammersley. The new organization
was created to help boys “who roamed the streets” find a positive alternative
to crime and delinquency. For more than 150 years since, helping youth develop
personal character has been an integral aspect of every Boys & Girls Clubs
of America (BGCA) program or activity.
Today BGCA focuses on enabling “all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their
full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” For thousands of
boys and girls across the country, Clubs provide a safe place to learn and grow,
as well as a place for hope and opportunity. Kids have a chance to build
valuable relationships with supportive adult professionals and take part in a
wide variety of life-enriching programs.
cornerstone issues of the BGCA include education and career, health and life
skills, the arts, sports and fitness, and recreation. BGCA also sponsors a
number of specialized program initiatives.
The BGCA education
campaign, “Every Member, Every Year,” helps Clubs partner with youth, parents,
schools, and community members to implement at least one of three approaches: academic enrichment and school engagement;
targeted dropout prevention; and intensive intervention and case management. The
goal is to ensure that all members graduate from high school on time and are
prepared for post-secondary education and a worthwhile career.
BGCA’s health and
life-skills initiatives help develop kids’ capacity to nurture their own well-being,
set personal goals, and prepare to live successful adult lives. Arts, sports and fitness, and recreation programs promote the
positive use of leisure time, reduce stress, build environmental awareness, and
increase social and interpersonal skills.
Special initiatives help meet significant and specific needs identified within BGCA. Programs
dealing with family issues, gang prevention, diversity, tech literacy, and more,
are all designed to complement one of more of BGCA core-program areas.
BGCA’s work has been
recognized by leading corporations nationwide. Many have partnered with Clubs to
find innovative ways to help America's young people reach their full potential.
For more information
about BGCA, visit their website at www.bgca.org.
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