Boys & Girls Clubs are open after school and during the summer to provide children and teens with a safe place to go where they can connect with caring adults. Professional staff and volunteers use a combination of locally developed programs and those developed and tested nationally by Boys & Girls Clubs of America in the following Program Impact Areas:
- Academic Success
- Character, Citizenship and Leadership
- Healthy Lifestyles
Positive Youth Development – Key Elements
Throughout our more than 100 year history, Clubs have learned that the level of impact on young people depends on how often and how long members participate, as well as how well the Club implements five key elements:
- A Safe, Positive Environment – Club staff, facilities, and programs create stability, consistency and a sense of physical and emotional safety for members.
- Fun – Staff make the Club feel like home, fostering a family atmosphere and creating a sense of ownership and belonging for members.
- Supportive Relationships – Staff actively cultivate meaningful relationships to ensure every member feels connected to one or more adults and peers.
- Opportunities and Expectations – Club staff provide a wide-range of programming for members to learn new skills while staff establish and reinforce high expectations.
- Recognition – Youth are encouraged and provided positive reinforcement as they make improvements and experience successes.
Boys & Girls Club Programs Work!
In our 2011 Washington Club Alumni Survey, past participants in Boys & Girls Clubs reported the following:
- 67% said the Club saved their life.
- 94% said the Club was one of the best things available in their community growing up.
- 86% said the Club helped them graduate from high school.
- 67% said the Club positively influenced their choices about drugs and alcohol.
- 86% said the Club had a positive impact on their self-confidence.
In studies sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation and Columbia University, young people participating in Boys & Girls Clubs showed the following results:
- 15% overall higher grade point average
- 87% fewer school absences
- 81% increase in homework completion
- 22% reduction in drug activity
- 13% reduction in juvenile crime
Youth of the Year
The Washington State Youth of the Year Program is designed to promote and recognize service to Club and community, academic performance, and contributions to family. Clubs select a Youth of the Year who competes to represent them at the state level. Each participant shares their life changing stories at an event in front of family, friends, board, staff, and community leaders. As the Washington State Youth of the Year winner, the youth receives a college scholarship and acts as the teen spokesperson for all Boys & Girls Club members. The young people who earn recognition as Youth of the Year are living proof that Boys & Girls Clubs are effective.