Club Tech
Several years ago Microsoft generously invested in Boys & Girls Clubs to create Club Tech, a national program that makes technology, software and training accessible in Clubs. In 2007, Best Buy Children’s Foundation joined forces with Microsoft and BGCA to help equip millions of America’s youth with vital skills and experiences to successfully compete academically and prepare for a 21st century workforce.

Club Tech teaches youth essential digital literacy skills through fun, interactive lessons, available at www.myclubmylife.com. Club members are encouraged to apply their tech skills and create original digital media such as web sites, music, movies and photography as part of Club Tech’s Digital Arts Festivals which are held annually.

Also, thanks to Microsoft’s $88 million donation in software, every chartered Club and organizational office is eligible to receive a comprehensive package of the latest Microsoft software for tech centers and staff computers at no cost.

 

Embracing Inclusion
This initiative provides Clubs with resources to enhance their services to youth with disabilities within fun, safe environments. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 13 percent of young people ages 6 to 14 have a disability (2001). Unfortunately, many of these young people have limited access to after-school programs that provide engaging, enjoyable opportunities for social and personal development. BGCA is working with Kids Included Together (KIT) to provide Club professionals and volunteers with effective strategies, tools and best practices for recruiting more youth with disabilities and serving them more effectively. Funded by Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.

Latino Outreach Initiative
Boys & Girls Clubs play a critical role in providing young Latinos with opportunities to succeed. By engaging Latino youth and families through word-of-mouth referrals, face-to-face contacts, community collaborations, special events and targeted programming, Clubs give young Latinos access to interest- and need-based programs to help them develop leadership abilities and strong decision-making skills. BGCA offers professional training and mentoring for Club staff in the area of Latino cultural diversity. Funded by The Goizueta Foundation, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, UPS Foundation and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

Targeted Outreach Strategic Approaches
In response to the number of youth gangs growing in cities and expanding to suburban and rural communities, BGCA has developed a special gang prevention and intervention initiative targeting youth ages 6 to18. Through referrals from schools, courts, law enforcement and community youth service agencies, the tested and proven Targeted Outreach program identifies and recruits delinquent youth, or those at risk of delinquency, into ongoing Club programs and activities. This initiative is sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.

Teen Initiative
Teens are not simply older children; they have reached a developmental stage that requires a different strategic approach to recruitment, retention, marketing, staff interaction, space utilization and programming. In addition, the needs and developmental abilities of younger teens (13 to 15) vary from those of older teens (16 to 18). The Teen Initiative provides program resources, grant funding, training and technical assistance to Club staff and boards so they can deepen their impact with teens in their communities and serve them more effectively. Funded by Taco Bell Foundation.

Family PLUS (Parents Leading, Uniting, Serving) Initiative 
Family PLUS (Parents Leading, Uniting, Serving), is a model for Boys & Girls Clubs wanting to implement family support activities into their Club’s programming. This model introduces Clubs to factors affecting the family unit and methods of collaborating with community organizations to provide parents and caregivers with resources. The initiative is sponsored by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation with a 5-year, $7 million grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. To learn more about Family PLUS, visit http://familyplus.bgca.org.
Youth for Unity
To help educate young people across the country about the importance of tolerance and diversity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has joined forces with The Allstate Foundation to develop Youth for Unity, a diversity education program designed to combat prejudice, bigotry and discrimination. Youth for Unity is the umbrella title for a comprehensive set of programmatic interventions that will allow Clubs to help members appreciate and understand our society’s diversity, recognize unfairness and take personal leadership in confronting bias. Under this initiative, an additional diversity module will be developed for the Street SMART Program.