Our Programs

The Boys & Girls Club of Bethlehem provides diversified activities that meet the interests of all young people. Core programs encourage activities with adults, peers, and family members that enable kids to enhance self-esteem and fulfill their potential. Based on the physical, emotional, cultural, and social needs and interest of boys and girls, and recognizing developmental principals, the Club offers diversified program activities in six areas:

Character & Leadership

We empower young people to support and influence their community, sustain meaningful, relationships, develops a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process and respect their own and others cultures.

TEENSupreme® Keystone Clubs

Keystone Clubs are chartered small group leadership development clubs for young people ages 14-18. Keystoners elect officers, choose their own activities and plan and implement community service projects. A national charter entitles a Keystone Club to participate in regional and national Keystone conferences. The TEENSupreme Keystone Club program is sponsored by the Taco Bell Foundation.

National TEENSupreme Keystone Conference

Keystone Club members from across the country gather in a different city each year to develop leadership skills, exchange ideas, debate and discuss current issues, and make friends. Each year, Keystoners select a national project for local Keystone Clubs to complete. The combined action of hundreds of local Keystone Clubs throughout the nation results in a project of national significance. The National TEENSupreme Keystone Conference is sponsored by the Taco Bell Foundation.

National Youth of the Year

Sponsored by The Reader’s Digest Association, the National Youth of the Year Program is designed to promote and recognize service to Club and community, academic performance and contributions to family and spiritual life. Clubs select a Youth of the Year who receives a certificate and medallion then enters state competition. State winners receive a plaque and enter the regional competition. Regional winners receive a $2,000 scholarship and enter a national competition held in Washington, DC. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $8,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.

Torch Club

This small-group leadership development program, sponsored by the Metropolitan Life Foundation, is targeted for youngsters ages 11 to 13. Within some 339 Torch Clubs across the country, members elect officers and plan and implement their own activities and community service projects. Each Torch Club receives an official charter from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Education & Career

We enable young people to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations and embrace technology to optimize employability.

Project Learn

Project Learn reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school through “high-yield” learning activities at the Club and in the home. Based on Dr. Reginald Clark’s research that shows fun, but academically beneficial activities increase academic performance, these activities include leisure reading, writing activities, homework help and games like Scrabble® which develop young people’s cognitive skills. Project Learn emphasizes collaborations between Club staff, parents and school personnel. Formally evaluated by Columbia University, Project Learn has been proven to boost the academic performance of Club members. JCPenney Afterschool is the sponsor of Project Learn.

Power Hour

A comprehensive homework help and tutoring program, POWER HOUR is designed to raise the academic proficiency of Club members ages 6-12.

Ultimate Journey

This internationally recognized, award-winning program leads Club members ages 6-12 on a fun-filled journey into the amazing world of plants and animals. The Ultimate Journey motivates young people to develop an understanding of and sensitivity to the environment, helping them build the knowledge and motivation to protect our natural resources.

CareerLaunch

CareerLaunchTM is a career exploration and mentoring program for teens ages 13-18. This program includes the CareerLaunch Web site that allows teens to take an interest survey, explore careers, identify training or college requirements, seek out financial aid and play skills-building games. There’s also an easy-to-use Career Exploration Quick Reference Guide with a broad range of career planning and job skills activities that Club staff or volunteers can use with teens. The CareerLaunch Portfolio contains a Teen Tips booklet with helpful interviewing and on-the-spot job tips. This program is made possible through a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Gap Foundation.

ClubService

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.

Health & Life Skills

We develop young people’s capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, set personal goals, and develop the skills to live successfully as self-sufficient, contributing adults.

SMART Moves

The SMART Moves (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) prevention/education program addresses the problems of drug and alcohol use and premature sexual activity. Based on proven techniques, the program uses a team approach involving Club staff, peer leaders, parents and community representatives. More than simply emphasizing a “Say No” message, the program teaches young people ages 6-15 how to say no by involving them in discussion and role-playing, practicing resistance and refusal skills, developing assertiveness, strengthening decision-making skills and analyzing media and peer influence. The ultimate goal: to promote abstinence from substance abuse and adolescent sexual involvement through the practice of responsible behavior.

SMART Girls

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. The SMART Girls program is sponsored by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc.

Cavity-Free Zone

Cavity-Free Zone was developed in response to the recent U.S. Surgeon General’s report on oral health which revealed a silent epidemic of oral disease in America, especially among disadvantaged youth. Underwritten by Crest, Cavity-Free Zone aims to improve the oral health of Club members ages 6-18 nationwide. Through oral health educational program materials, a Web site and collaborative efforts with local dental schools, dental societies and other health care agencies, Cavity-Free Zone will be a catalyst for change in providing dental services to disadvantaged youth.

The Arts

We enable young people to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of visual, tactile, and/or performing arts.

ImageMakers: National Photography Program

Funded by the Circuit City Foundation, this comprehensive photography program encourages girls and boys to learn and practice photography, expressing themselves in creative and innovative ways. The national initiative delivers a state-of-the-art photography curriculum, provides photographic resources and opportunities for Club members to compete on a national level. ImageMakers provides local, regional and national recognition through an annual photography contest. Winning photos will be displayed nationwide at museums as well as at B&GCA’s annual National Conference. The Circuit City Foundation ImageMakers funding is being passed through to 60 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide to help them implement a photography curriculum. Ten additional sites were selected for grants to strengthen and highlight excellent photography programs in place. All Boys & Girls Clubs across the country receive the ImageMaker resource guide and materials.

National Fine Arts Exhibit

Sponsored by L’Oreal, this contest, which encourages creativity through a variety of media, is made up of local, regional and national exhibits. Young people are encouraged to create artwork in any of the following categories: monochromatic drawing, multicolored drawing, pastels, water color, oil or acrylic, print making, mixed media, collage and sculpture. Artwork selected through a national competition is displayed at B&GCA’s annual National Conference.

Sports, Fitness & Recreation

We develop fitness, positive use of leisure time, skills for stress management, appreciation for the environment, and social and interpersonal skills.

Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA

This national youth basketball initiative, launched by the NBA and the WNBA, connects players, parents and coaches. The program, which is supported by an all-star Advisory Council as well as Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other national youth organizations, provides unique information within its training guide curriculum. Subjects include advice for coaches from the first practice to the final game, ideas on creating a positive and fun environment for youth and tips for players ranging from skills to sportsmanship.

Daily Challenges (Triple Play) View Memo

Fitness and fun combined make Daily Challenges a non-competitive, yet challenging, popular series of programs. The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Challenge helps girls build new skills via a fun fitness circuit. The Michael Jordan Invent-A-Sport Challenge encourages creativity and fitness, allowing youngsters to create their own game or sport, illustrate and demonstrate the activity and play with peers. In the Ken Griffey Jr. Home Run Challenge, members build basic motor skills through throwing, catching and running games. The Dawn Staley Basketball Challenge offers instruction and practice in dribbling, assisting and shooting. The Jump Rope Challenge improves strength, skills and endurance as participants jump “against the clock.”

Specialized Programs

ClubTech

Through ClubTech, and thanks to a more than $100 million donation from Microsoft, B&GCA is providing Clubs with the tools to make Club members and staff effective technology users. Every Club will receive a comprehensive package of the latest Microsoft products – a combined $88 million software gift. With another $12.3 million in cash, B&GCA is developing technology programs that will give members basic computer skills; introduce them to digital movie making, music making, photography, graphic design and Web development; and guide staff in using technology to enhance all program offerings. ClubTech also includes extensive technology training opportunities for Club staff at all professional levels.

These initiatives emphasize community mobilization and family involvement as strategies Clubs can use to better serve more young people and broaden the impact of all Club programs.