As a part of Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA’s ReMEMBER… ReIMAGINE… ReINVEST campaign, programs like Healthy Lifestyles have ReIMAGINED the services BGCWPA provides. Healthy Lifestyles provides support services, social emotional learning programming and community engagement. The first program of Healthy Lifestyles is Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) (http://teenoutreachprogram.com/top/).
BGCWPA is one of Wyman’s 55 Replication Partners across the United States, implementing TOP to over 22,000 teens from diverse ethnic, racial, socio-economic backgrounds, and in rural, urban, and suburban settings. The Teen Outreach Program is an evidence-based program proven to improve social and emotional learning and life skills, support the development of a positive sense of self, strengthen connections to others, improve academic outcomes and decrease risky behaviors. TOP achieves these outcomes by providing teen focused programing and high-quality facilitation. The 3 core components of the Teen Outreach Program are weekly peer meetings, TOP curriculum lessons and community service learning (CSL) projects. TOP curriculum lessons are pulled directly from the 3 TOP manuals (Building My Skills, Learning About Myself and Connecting with Others) to provide social emotional learning. Community service learning projects are service projects that teens choose, plan and participate in to help their peers, schools, communities or the world. Weekly peer meetings are unique opportunities to address topics that are important to teens, but are outside the TOP curriculum. These topics include mental health, career readiness, community violence, and current events .
BGCWPA is currently providing the Teen Outreach Program in our Clubhouses, schools and within the community. The first TOP Club was implemented at the end of October at the BGCWPA Career Works Workforce Development Academy and was shortly followed by TOP Clubs at the Carnegie, Estelle S. Campbell (Lawrenceville) and Shadyside Clubhouses in early November. We also brought a TOP Club to the LaRosa of McKeesport Clubhouse in early 2020.
Continuing to ReIMAGINE BGCWPA services, Healthy Lifestyles has partnered with schools and community partners to provide TOP clubs outside of our clubhouses. Currently, 375 youth are TOP Club participants in the McKeesport Area School District. Additionally, school-based TOP clubs have been implemented as a part of the Will Allen Foundation’s Quest program. The Quest program is a personal development program for students at Clairton High School, North Hills High School and Perry Traditional Academy. BGCWPA has also partnered with Norhtgate Jr. High School, Brookline Teen Outreach and the Foundation of Hope programs.
All of these exciting programs are being provided by BGCWPA’s Teen Coordinators and Healthy Lifestyles Instructors. The Teen Outreach Program provides a safe space for teens to develop skills, be themselves and connect with their peers. Teens in our area need positive places where they are supported and valued, we are looking forward to bringing the Teen Outreach Program to more school and community-based locations for the 2020-2021 school year.