The Boys and Girls Club of Erie County "offers tested, proven and nationally recognized programs in five core program areas - Education and Leadership Development, Character and Leadership Development, Health and Life Skills, The Arts and Sports, Fitness and Recreation."
Education and Career Development
Programs in this Core Program Area enable youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations and embrace technology to achieve success in a career.
(a) Power Hour: Making Minutes Count — helps Club members ages 6–18 achieve academic success by providing homework help, tutoring and high-yield learning activities and encouraging members to become self-directed learners.
(b) Project Learn: Reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school during the hours they spend at the Club. This comprehensive program strategy is based on Dr. Reginald Clark's research showing that students do much better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun, but academically beneficial, activities.
Character and Leadership Development
Programs in this Core Program Area empower youth to support and influence their Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process and respect their own and others’ cultural identities.
(a) Youth of the Year: Promotes and celebrates service to Club, community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. Local Clubs recognize members ages 14–18 who were Youths of the Month and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competition. State winners, who each receive $1,000 scholarships, participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive an engraved plaque and a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.
Health and Life Skills
Programs in this area 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.
(a) SMART Moves: The SMART (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) Moves program is a nationally acclaimed prevention program. Participants will be exposed to various activities designed to hone their decision-making and critical-thinking skills, as well as learn how to avoid and/or resist alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and premature sexual activity.
(b) SMART Girls: It is a small-group health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program designed to meet the developmental needs of girls ages 8–12 and 13–17. Through dynamic sessions, highly participatory activities, field trips and mentoring opportunities with adult women, Club girls explore their own and societal attitudes and values as they build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care and developing positive relationships with peers and adults.
(c) Triple Play's Healthy Habits: Designed to incorporate healthy living and active learning in every part of the Club experience, Healthy Habits emphasizes good nutrition, regular physical activity and improving overall well-being. The program, for ages 6 to 18, is the “Mind” component of Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul.
Programs in this area enable youth to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of the visual arts, crafts, performing arts and creative writing.
(a) MusicMakers: A music education program resource for Clubs, was developed in collaboration with BGCA, along with NAMM, The International Music Products Association.
(b) DramaMatters: It is a drama education program for Clubs that encourages members ages 6 to 18 to engage in hands-on activities.
Sports Fitness and Recreation
Programs in this area develop fitness, positive use of leisure time, skills for stress management, appreciation for the environment and social skills.
(a) Triple Play: Triple Play, BGCA’s comprehensive health and wellness initiative, strives to improve the overall health of members, ages 6-18, by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching them good nutrition and helping them develop healthy relationships. Since the Triple Play initiative was introduced in 2005, more than one million Club members have participated in fun fitness activities. The Triple Play initiative, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company and the WellPoint Foundation, nurtures the minds, bodies and souls of Club members.