Boys & Girls Club of Alton offers programs in the following areas:
Homework help and tutoring programs that help club members be more successful in school by encouraging members to become self directed learners. Club members receive Power points for their participation in this program.
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, discussion 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.
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.
CHARACTER & LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS
A small group leadership services club for boys & girls ages 14-18. Keystoners elect officers and plan and implement their own activities in six areas: service to the Club and the community, leadership development, education, unity, free enterprise, and social recreation.
A chartered small-group leadership and service club for boys & girls ages 11-13. A Torch 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 community, education, health and fitness and social recreation.
Youth of the Year
Boys & Girls Club of America's premier youth recognition program promotes and celebrates Club members' service to the Club, community and family; academic performance; spiritual values; life goals and poise and public speaking ability. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, Youth of the Year participants are awarded scholarships to help them further their education. State Youth of the Year each receive $5,000 in college scholarships. Regional Youth of the Year finalists each receive $10,000 in college scholarships, renewable for four years up to $40,000. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000.
HEALTH & LIFE SKILLS
Passport to Manhood:
The passage from boyhood to manhood is challenging, requiring adolescent males to understand and manage many issues and transitions. The Club’s Passport to Manhood addresses critical issues that young men face during this time, such as ethics, decision-making, wellness, ideas about fatherhood, employment and careers, cooperation and conflict, diversity, relationships and self-esteem. The goal of the program is to teach and promote responsibility, reinforce positive behavior and develop character in adolescent males.
Passport to Manhood is a 14-session program that concentrates on specific aspects of manhood through highly interactive activities. Each Club member participant is issued his own “passport” to underscore his personal journey of maturation and growth. Executive Director Al Womack hosts each of the once-per-week 30 to 45 minute sessions. Passport to Manhood sessions are currently held on Tuesdays.
Smart Moves (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training)
Nationally acclaimed comprehensive prevention program helps young people resist alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, as well as premature sexual activity. The program features engaging, interactive small group activities designed to increase participants' peer support, enhance their life skills, build their resiliency and strengthen their leadership skills. This year-round program encourages collaboration among Club staff, youth, parents and representatives from other community organizations. The program 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 parents of Club members participating in SMART Moves.
SMART Girls is a health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls. Female Club members need a safe setting in which they can address health and social issues unique to them, and build the necessary skills to resist negative influences such as drugs, alcohol and premature sexual activity. The program is designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable adolescent/teen girls to develop to their full potential by acquiring and maintaining a positive self-concept, sound decision making skills and mentor relationships.
The SMART Girls program is designed with two age appropriate modules for (1) girls ages 8-12 and (2) girls ages 13-17. Each session incorporates learning experiences that include mentors, guest speakers, hands on activities and field trips. Each module consists of two components:
Part One: “It’s Your Body” examines media influences on attitudes about females, personal values in dating relationships, date violence, date rape and sexual harassment, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual myths and truths, getting regular gynecological care, and the physical and emotional changes girls experience.
Part Two: “Take Care of Your Body” identifies ways to attain healthy eating habits, meet specific nutritional needs, develop basic cooking skills and become physically fit and active. It also emphasizes the importance of knowing how to use the health care delivery system.
Kids In Control
A safety awareness program designed to help Club members ages 8-10 develop the personal safety habits and practical skills needed to be safe at the Club, at home and in the neighborhood. The program offers interactive approaches to build Club members' crime prevention and personal safety skills through role-playing, games and other participatory activities.
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.
Cavity-Free Zone aims to increase young people’s awareness of good oral hygiene and improve their dental health. Cavity-Free Zone was developed in response to a recent Surgeon General’s report on oral health, which revealed a silent epidemic of oral disease in the country, especially among disadvantaged youth. The Cavity-Free Zone program materials feature fun, engaging sessions and activities for Club members ages 6-9, 10-12 and 13-15.
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, the food pyramid and appropriate portion size.
SPORTS, FITNESS, AND RECREATION
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 gamesroom. Each mind, body and soul program component can stand alone, yet integrating them allows Club members to reap more powerful, lifelong benefits.
Skill Tech: Basic Training outlines computer skills basics with fun and age-appropriate online courseware. Club members perform activities toward the completion of larger projects, mastering valuable computer skills in word processing, spreadsheets and other productivity software. Topics include:
•Introduction to the desktop
- Navigation skills & Internet safety
- Introduction to productivity, reference and educational software
- Learning Internet search skills to find and review information
- How computers work, identifying parts and knowing technical