Education and Academic Enrichment programs teach youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines and approaches to thinking, learning, and decision-making. These programs encourage youth to set goals, get caught up academically, embrace technology, and learn the skills necessary for employment and leadership in their future careers.
After school and during the summer, each club helps to reinforce what Club members are learning in school and providing enrichment activities that augment their formal education. These activities and programs include:
Since 2008, we have successfully run an all-inclusive Educational program called the After School Excellence Program. It is a formal math and reading academic enhancement program dedicated to helping young people ages 5 – 18 reach higher achievement levels by giving educators, both inside and outside the classroom, the tools and experience required to provide quality academic programs. The program focuses on reading and math, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Career Development. The program incorporates the EdVenture Group “After School Excellence” curriculum as a center point of academic services within our agency. The program is complemented by selected Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national program models which include: Power Hour homework help & tutoring, Project Learn – high yield learning & skill building activities, and Career Launch – career learning & job skills activities. It provides a rigorous standards-based literacy and numeracy academic program that enhances our after school tutoring efforts countywide. The goal of this academic initiative is to raise the bar for academic content and delivery in the after school programming. The curriculum design is based on the Pennsylvania Academic Standards and Assessment Anchors for reading and math and encompasses a strategy that allows participants to not simply “catch up” to their grade level, but to truly achieve and even exceed expectations.
This program will increase academic proficiency levels, improve academic skills, and increase the number of children who advance to the next grade level.
Boys & Girls Club national program that provides members homework help and tutoring to help youth become self directed learners.
Money Matters is a Boys & Girls Club national program. Young adults in the U.S. today are facing a perfect storm of personal and social pressures that can compromise their financial well-being: record lows in savings, record highs in student and consumer debt, increasing living costs and uncertain employment prospects. Money Matters helps young people learn financial literacy, so they can make good financial choices as adults. Participants learn how to manage a checking account, create a budget, save and invest, start small businesses and pay for college. Teens who complete Money Matters show improved financial management skills, including saving money and sticking to a budget.
diplomas2Degrees (d2D) is a college readiness program, guides Club members as they work toward high school graduation and prepare for post-secondary education and career success. d2D helps teens develop both short- and long-term goals, while familiarizing them post-secondary education through experiences like college tours. It also assists youth in securing financial aid and fosters supportive relationships with adults who can provide support throughout the college experience.
My.Future supports BGCA’s new digital programming across all program areas, supports digital recognition in the form of stars, badges and master badges, allows members a safe platform to showcase and share their work locally and nationally, and provides a way for young people to safely socialize with one another across the Movement.
Learning and Collaborating Online
Digital programming is now something that youth can engage in, in a self-directed way and also with support from Club staff. Using a combination of facilitated and self-led experiences, as well as digital gaming, like the Sky Money Matters and the Reach Game, young people can learn digital skills that will serve them well in school or the workforce. My.Future offers:
- Digital recognition in the form of stars, which recognize the individual activities that young people do in Clubs; badges, which recognize clusters of activities; and master badges, which recognize when young people have completed significant programming in the form of a learning pathway.
- Safe socialization, through likes and follows, support from other young people in a safe environment, and allowing youth to watch the media makers who matter to them most.
- Project and media sharing to allow young people to break down walls and share media, both with one another, across the Movement, and with the entire world – all through Club-moderated means.
- In-Club digital signage to promote what young people are doing, in a visible and recognizable way – essentially the digital version of the pegboards so common in Clubs.
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, including leisure reading, writing activities, discussions with knowledgeable adults, helping others, homework help, tutoring and games that develop young people’s cognitive skills. Project Learn also emphasizes parent involvement as well as collaboration between Club and school professionals.
BGCA is committed to ensuring that America’s youth, especially those who need us most, graduate from high school on time with a plan for the future. That’s why we launched Summer Brain Gain – a summer learning loss prevention program developed specifically for Boys & Girls Clubs to integrate into their traditional summer schedule.
Each summer in America, an estimated 43 million children in the U.S. miss out on expanded learning opportunities that could prevent them from falling behind. During summer, most youth lose about two months’ worth of math skills. Low-income youth also lose more than two months’ worth of reading skills, while their middle-class peers make slight gains.
Summer learning losses can stack up from year to year, causing low-income children to fall further and further behind, ultimately endangering their chances of high school graduation. More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
What is Summer Brain Gain?
Summer Brain Gain is comprised of one-week modules with fun, themed activities for elementary school, middle school and high school students that are aligned with common core anchor standards. Supported by Disney, 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. As a result, kids develop higher-order thinking skills through the Summer Brain Gain modules while staying on track for the coming school year.
In addition, with support from Staples, BGCA introduced Summer Brain Gain: Read!, a literacy program that complements the larger Summer Brain Gain curriculum. To improve the reading skills of America’s youth, Summer Brain Gain: Read! is a summer reading program with a new book presented each week per age group, along with supporting activities that bring the book to life.