Core Program Area: Character & Leadership Development
Programs in the 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.
TEENSupreme Keystone Clubs
Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s most dynamic teen program, (Keystone Clubs are chartered small-group leadership service clubs for boys and girls ages 14-18). Keystoners elect officers and plan and implement their own activities in six areas: service to Club and community, leadership development, education and career exploration, unity, free enterprise and social recreation. Keystone Club members and their advisors are eligible for nomination to steering committees which organize regional and national Teen Keystone Conferences attended by thousands of Keystoners each year. TEENSupreme Keystone Club Awards are bestowed annually on Keystone Clubs that undertake programs and activities which best promote the principles of Keystoning. Each year, Keystoners National TEENSUPREME Keystone Project for local Keystone Clubs to complete. The combined action of hundreds of local Keystone results in a service project with a national scope.
Torch Clubs are chartered small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13. A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the special needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to plan and implement activities in four areas: service to Club and community, education, health and fitness and social recreation. Torch Club Awards are presented annually to Torch Clubs with outstanding programs and activities in the four areas. Each year, Torch Club members from all over the country take part in a service-learning experience through the National Torch Club Project.
Youth of the Year
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier youth recognition program promotes and celebrates Club members’ service to Club, community and family; academic performance; spiritual values; life goals and poise and public speaking ability. The Youth of the Year program is most effective when used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s personal growth and leadership qualities. Local Clubs recognize Youth of the Month and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competition. State winners participate in regional competition. Five regional winners each receive a $2,000 scholarship and compete on the national level state. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $8,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States. Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners receive $1,000, $500, and $250 scholarships, respectively. The Youth of the Year Program, in existence for more than 50 years, is sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Association, Youth of the Year Program Kits are sent free of charge to Clubs each year.
Edinburg Teen Court
The Edinburg Teen Court has been established through the collaborations of community leaders, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV and the City of Edinburg. The program is specifically designed to address the needs of the first time class C misdemeanor offender and his/her family. The purpose of the Edinburg Teen Court is to interrupt the development pattern of criminal behavior in juvenile by promoting and motivating self esteem for self improvement and forming a healthy attitude towards authority. The offenders assume responsibility for their behavior and accept the consequences of their actions through community service work, serving on the Teen Court Jury and any punishment sanctioned by a Teen Court jury of their peers. The Teen Court provides an educational experience for the offenders and teen volunteers. The teens are given hand-on experience with the legal process, become familiar with the court system and learn about variety careers opportunities the court system has to offer. The offenders also learn about variety careers opportunities through the community service they perform. Teen Court provides young people a unique challenge and opportunity to demonstrate to adults and themselves their capability for self government and responsible citizenship.
Core Program Area: 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.
Power Hour helps Club members ages 6-12 be more successful in school by providing homework help and tutoring and encouraging members to become self-directed learners. The program kit includes a manual, a guidebook for homework helpers and tutors and charts for tracking and rewarding participants progress. The Power Hour program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company.
This program, the result of a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Corporation for National Service Americorps, provides education awards to Club members ages 17 and 18 and Club alumni ages 19-24 who serve their Clubs and Communities. CLUBService recognizes young people’s service, helps them access higher education opportunities and encourages them to pursue future careers as Club professionals. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV is a designated Club service site. Club members 17-18 and alumni 19-24 can earn $2,325 for college by volunteering 900 hours.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV provides a way to bring college going materials and person to person support to our club members. The GO Center is equipped with computers, high-speed internet access, and a variety of printed resources and publications to provide club members and their families with information pertaining to college access and success.
Project Learn reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school during the hours they spend at the Club. The program 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. Through Project Learn, Club staff use all the areas and programs in the Club to create opportunities for these “high-yield learning activities,” which include leisure reading, writing activities, discussions with knowledgeable adults, helping others, homework help and tutoring and games like Scrabble that develop young people’s cognitive skills. Project Learn also emphasizes parent involvement and collaboration between Club staff and school personnel as critical factors in creating the best after-school learning environment for Club members. Extensively field-tested and formally evaluated by Columbia University with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Project Learn has been proven to boost the academic performance of Club members.
Goals for Graduation
Goals for Graduation, a Project Learn resource, introduces academic goal setting to Club members ages 6-15 by linking their future aspirations with concrete actions today. In goal-setting sessions with Club youth, development professionals and members set achievable “Know-I-Can” Goals, more challenging “Think-I-Can” Goals, and yearly “Believe-I-Can” goals. Members create an action plan with daily and weekly goals leading to short- and long-term gains. A comprehensive guidance strategy helps members connect their smallest results to their highest dreams.
Junior Staff: Cultivating Tomorrow’s Club Professionals Today
This is an easy-to-use program for Club teens ages 13 to 18. Thanks to program sponsor AT&T, this completely updated program provides Club staff and volunteers with tools to guide young people in preparing for a career in Boys & Girls Clubs and/or other service professions. Through participation in Junior Staff, teens will develop interpersonal skills, a strong work ethic and a sense of community engagement while experiencing on-the-job Club work.
Money Matters: Make It Count
Money Matters promotes financial responsibility and independence among Club members ages 13-18 by building their basic money management skills. Participants learn how to manage a checking account, budget, save and invest. They also learn about starting small businesses and paying for college.
This fun and exciting program prepares teens for the working world. Club teens who are 13-18 years old embark on a journey to explore careers, make sound educational decisions and find success in the world of work. The program, sponsored by Gap Foundation, contains 22 competency based, small-group activities that are organized into four units.
Core Program Area: 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.
(Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) This nationally acclaimed comprehensive prevention program helps young people resist alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. The program features engaging, interactive small group activities designed to increase peer support, enhance life skills, build resiliency and strengthen leadership skills. This year-round program encourages collaborations among Club staff, youth parents and representatives from other community organizations. The program’s components include: SMART Kids, for children ages 6-9, Start SMART, for youth ages 10-12, Stay Smart, for youth ages 13-15 and SMART Parents for participating Club members in SMART Moves.
SMART Leaders is a booster program to SMART Moves. This program keeps teens involved in the SMART Moves program after Stay SMART, reinforces skills and knowledge youth learned in SMART Moves and prepares teens as leaders to help their peers resist using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and postpone sexual activity. The program is available through a collaborative effort among The Pennsylvania State University, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.
An outgrowth of the popular and effective SMART Moves program, SMART Girls is a health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls ages 10-15. The program is designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable early adolescent girls to develop to their full potential.
Passport to Manhood
Passport to Manhood promotes and teaches responsibility in Club boys ages 11-14. Passport to Manhood consists of 14 sessions, each of which concentrates on a specific aspect of manhood through highly interactive activities. Each Club participant receives his own “passport” to underscore the notion that he is on a personal journey of maturation and growth. Passport to Manhood represents a targeted effort to engage young boys in discussions and activities that reinforce positive behavior.
Street SMART counteracts the negative lures of gangs, violence and “street” influences on young adolescents ages 11-13. While building awareness and resistance skills, participants develop the confidence and knowledge to make intelligent choices. Street SMART’s three modules teach young people how gangs work and how to resist being recruited, how to recognize and resolve conflicts peacefully and how to become positive peer helpers. Participants reinforce what they have learned and share it with others by organizing community events that promote the positive message of Street SMART.
Empowering youth to eat right is a generation-changing, life-enhancing program goal. Triple Play’s nutrition component, called Healthy Habits provides a lesson on the power of choice, calories, vitamins and minerals, the food pyramid and appropriate portion size. Healthy Habits is the “Mind” component of Triple Play, which emphasizes eating smart and maintaining physical fitness to improve the overall well-being of Club members. The Healthy Habits program is designed to:
- Teach young people about the benefits of such as eating right and being physically active;
- Equip young people with skills to adopt healthier habits by participating in fun and engaging learning activities both at the Club and at home; and
- Encourage young people to take small steps toward positive behavior change.
In partnerships, with the RGV Food Bank, Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV provides healthy meals and snacks to club members. In addition to providing hot meals to hungry kids, the Club’s Kids Cafe offers a safe place, where under the supervision of trustworthy staff, a child can get involved in educational, recreational and social activities.
Core Program Area: The Arts
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.
National Fine Arts Exhibit Program
This year-round program encourages artistic expression among Club members ages 6-18 through drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media and sculpture displayed at local and regional exhibits. Some works of art maybe selected to be included in the National Fine Arts Exhibit, which is displayed throughout the ensuing year at BGCA events, including the annual National Conference.
ImageMakers National Photography Contest
This year-round program encourages Club members ages 6-18 to learn and practice black-and-white, color, digital and alternative process photography. Club members’ photographs are displayed at local and regional exhibits and maybe selected to be exhibited national at the BGCA National Conference and at other events and venues.
Club Tech Digital Arts Suite and Festivals
Club Tech’s suite of self-directed digital arts courseware consists of Web Tech (Web page design), Design Tech (graphic design), Photo Tech (photo illustration) and Music Tech. Movie Tech contains detailed instructor materials for teaching members to write screenplays and facilitating the hands-on process of filming and editing digital movies.
Core Program Area: 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.
To teach youth how to make healthier choices, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) has teamed up with The Coca-Cola Company and Kraft Foods Inc. to present Triple Play: A Game Plan for Mind, Body and Soul. This national program takes a holistic approach to educating boys and girls about good nutrition, making physical fitness a daily practice and developing individual strengths and good character. In addition to components for the mind and body, the Triple Play program gets at the soul of the Club experience – the gameroom. Each Mind, Body and Soul program component can stand alone; yet integrating them allows Club members to reap more powerful, lifelong benefits.
Healthy Habits: Empowering youth to eat right is a generation-changing, life-enhancing program goal, and Triple Play’s nutrition component, called Healthy Habits, covers the power of choice, calories, vitamins and minerals, Choose My Plate and appropriate portion size.
Taking a systematic approach, this component boosts Clubs’ traditional physical activities to a higher level by providing sports and fitness activities for all youth – boys and girls, athletically gifted and those talented in other areas, children and teens alike. Daily Fitness Challenges: six challenges give youth at every age the chance to play longer and harder at different games – from jumping rope to basketball and creating games of their own.
- Basketball Challenge
- Jump Rope Challenge
- Get Fit Challenge
- Walk/Run Challenge
- Home Run Challenge
- Invent-a-Sport Challenge
Sports Clubs – targeted to members 13-to-18, these year-round teen clubs develop members’ leadership skills; focus on community service and volunteerism; and offer Club sports, fitness, recreation and nutrition programs.
This social recreation program includes a resource guide, training and additional tools to run a top-notch game room and social recreation program in the Club.
Above all, kids want to have fun. With this in mind, Boys & Girls Clubs, have game rooms at every Club. Whether foosball, eight ball, Ping-Pong or air hockey, kids can play a variety of games while learning interpersonal skills and sportsmanship through fun competition.
Club members learn about team building and can enhance their own athletic skills through various sports. We give kids a chance to compete in city wide basketball and soccer leagues. Through these activities, kids stay fit while having fun.
Young members become exposed to a variety of environments and activities outside their own neighborhoods. Our Clubs offer trips to nature centers, local beaches, museums, professional sporting events, circuses, amusement parks, skating rinks, restaurants and plays. Supervised by adults, these field trips help open members’ to new opportunities and experiences.
Skill Tech is a basic computer skills program that develops Club members’ proficiency with word processing, spreadsheet and other productivity software through fun, hands-on, engaging lessons and projects for four age groups. Skill Tech is just one of the technology programs developed through BGCA’s Club Tech initiative, generously sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and Best Buy Children’s Foundation.
Skill Tech II: A Club Tech Advanced Skills Program
Skill Tech II teaches advanced yet practical technology skills to Club members ages 6 to 18. Using animated, interactive tutorials on courseware developed exclusively for Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as hands-on, instructor-led group activities, the program introduces members to hardware and networking skills and technology-related career opportunities. Skill Tech II is just one of the technology programs developed through BGCA’s Club Tech initiative, generously sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and Best Buy Children’s Foundation.
Specialized Program Initiatives
These initiatives or programs focus on meeting significant, specific needs that have been identified within the Boys & Girls Club Movement. Because their scope is broad, they relate to or complement several or all the Core Programs Areas.
GANG Prevention/Intervention Through Targeted Outreach
This community-based program provides training, materials and technical assistance to Clubs and their community partners to keep young people ages 6-8 from becoming involved in gangs. The program’s intervention component helps youth who are already involved in gangs to leave that lifestyle. The program uses community mobilization, recruitment strategies, effective programming and case management tools to direct young people to positive alternatives. GANG PREVENTION/INTERVENTION through TARGETED OUTREACH is sponsored by the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION.
Family PLUS is a model for Clubs wanting to implement family support activities in their programming. This model introduces Clubs to factors affecting families and methods of collaborating with community organizations to provide parents and caregivers with needed resources. Clubs can implement family support activities in one or more of five areas:
- Kinship Care – providing knowledge and resources to extended family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, foster parents, etc.) who have assumed the role of primary caregiver.
- Father Involvement – providing programs, activities, training and services to help increase the positive involvement of fathers in the lives of their children.
- Economic Opportunity – helping families find and keep jobs, increase earnings, build savings and establish credit.
- Outreach Strategies – effectively recruiting and retaining new populations of parents and caregivers who are often under served in Clubs.
- Family Advocacy Network (FAN Club) – providing group support for parents and caregivers of Club members who are participating in the SMART Moves primary prevention program.
Youth for Unity
Youth for Unity is the hallmark program of BGCA’s diversity initiative. Youth for Unity provides youth and parents with the groundwork that will help them better understand diversity and combat prejudice, bigotry and discrimination.
Summer Only- Evening Camps 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Innovation Camps, hosted by Boys & Girls Clubs of Edinburg RGV are a multi-faceted program designed to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The camps are four days in length Monday – Thursday from 4:30 pm -6:30pm and will be offered weekly during the Sunshine Summer Program. The camps are designed to spark interest in STEM careers through hands-on, project-based learning in Rocketry Camp, Lights and Optics (Girls Only), Solar System Adventure, and Engineering. The camp fee is $35.00.