This summer, BGCMC will celebrate the second anniversary of its teen program, known as The Club.
The story of our teen program began in 2010, when BGCMC first committed resources towards creating a comprehensive teen program with the understanding that Martin County teens must become resilient and develop a positive self-concept and sense of hope. The Club was modeled after a teen initiative designed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that provides a basic programmatic structure but encourages innovation and flexibility at the community level.
In 2010, we surveyed 850 local teens on what they most wanted from a new teen program. Their feedback became the foundation for the program’s curriculum, and the program was launched in a beta phase in the summer of 2011. Then in the fall of 2012, The Club was introduced at all five branches and a strategic partnership was formed with the Banner Lake Club in Hobe Sound to reach more teens in that distressed neighborhood. Later that year, the program was named the top Career & Education Development program in the state of Florida.
The organization’s goals for The Club are to:
-Increase the number of teens participating in the program and their frequency of attendance in the program
-Retain existing members in The Club
-Increase teens’ school attendance, on-time grade progression, reading and math proficiency, on-time high school credit accumulation, and ensure each teen will graduate from high school with a plan for the future
-Boost teens’ expectations of academic success, their connectedness to school, and encourage them to have more positive attitudes towards school
-Help local teens access higher education opportunities
-Help reverse summer learning loss by offering high-yield learning activities for teens throughout the summer months
-Provide teens with greater knowledge of careers-especially high-growth career fields in science, technology, and health care--and the role of education in success
-Increase teens’ technology fluency that can assist them academically and as adults in the workforce
-Develop teens’ technical skills, creativity and critical thinking through projects in web design, graphic design, digital photography, electronic-music making and digital-movie making
-Cultivate teens’ leadership skills and civic responsibility, ensuring they are contributing to both the Club and community
-Develop teens’ conflict resolution skills, inspire teens to embrace healthy lifestyles, and to avoid risky behaviors like gang involvement and drug abuse
-Offer teens, both boys and girls, regular athletic and recreational activities in a safe setting that will help them get fit—and stay fit
-Help teens develop healthy habits by learning to eat more fruits and vegetables and better understand portion control
The Club’s diverse suite of programming and activities were designed to be engaging, interactive, and always, safe. The core programming and activities include:
-Academics: homework help, tutoring, SAT PREP, college tours, and assistance with filling out scholarships and financial aid applications
-Athletics: basketball drills, clinics, intramural scrimmages, tournaments, and Presidential Fitness Test
-BE GREAT Graduate: through mentoring, intentional tracking, and increased Club-Home-School Partnership and Communication, the program helps young people most vulnerable for dropping out of school develop the academic, behavioral and social skills needed to be successful in school and beyond
-Career Launch: career development program providing a range of services to help Club members develop the skills essential for workforce success
-Community Service: wide range of volunteer and civic engagement activities throughout Martin County
-Culinary Club: cooking classes emphasizing nutrition, kitchen safety, and etiquette
-Diplomas to Degrees: support Club members as they work toward high school graduation and prepare for post-secondary education and career success
-Digital Arts & Internet Safety: curriculum that teaches teens to be safe and sophisticated users of technology, including social media
-Drama & Performing Arts: ballet, hip hop, group lessons with Florida Arts & Dance Company
-Field Trips/Special Events: movies, teen dances, video gaming nights, and excursions to theme parks like Universal Studios
-Financial Literacy Activities: financial literacy activities and exercises through the Club’s Money Matters programming
-Keystone Club: with the guidance of Club staff, teens are given opportunities to make leadership decisions, serve others, and engage in academic and career experiences.
-PowerHour: mandatory homework help and tutoring program that encourages teens to become self-directed learners
-Street Smarts: a gang prevention program built around interactive lessons that teaches teens to build resistance to gang behavior and gang involvement
-Teen Talk: rap sessions with program staff on issues like dating, teenage pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, and smoking
-Youth of the Year Celebration: premier youth recognition program designed to cultivate teens’ character, personal growth, and leadership qualities
During the school year, The Club is offered five days a week, beginning at 3 p.m. and running till 8:30 p.m. as we transport teen Members home in the evening. In the summer, hours are 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. On weekends throughout the year, community service projects such as beach clean ups and educational and career-enrichment field trips to local colleges and businesses are also coordinated.
What does a typical week at The Club look like? Here’s an example: on Monday through Thursday, teens must participate in a mandatory “Power Hour” of homework help and tutoring. Then after they complete their homework, teens will either participate in Career Launch (a career development program), a community service project, or a health and fitness challenge activity. Teens also participate on Thursday each month in TAG (Teen Advisory Group) to offer feedback on the program, ensuring it’s constantly evolving. Then later in the evenings, teens cook a healthy meal together with the branch’s dedicated teen coordinator. And on a Saturday, there’s frequently a community service project, such as teens walking in an Alzheimer’s Charity Walk.
If you're looking to register for our teen program in East Stuart, please click here. If you''re looking to register at all other Clubs, please click here. Please note: all teens attend the program at no charge.
BGCMC recently received the award for top overall Boys & Girls Club program in the state by the Florida Area Council for Be READy, an early literacy initiative that the organization designed and created in 2012. Full release here
The Bill & Barbara Whitman branch in Indiantown is OPEN!
Thank you to everyone who helped us achieve this six-year dream!
The new Club features a full-size gymnasium, performing arts space, learning & technology labs, a kitchen, and plenty of space to build and develop the potential of Indiantown’s most extraordinary asset —its children-- through Education & Career Development, Character Leadership Development, Health & Life Skills, The Arts and Sports, Fitness & Recreation.