Out-of-school time – after school and summer – is the most critical and overlooked opportunity to help youth reach their full potential and have a great future. At Boys & Girls Clubs, we offer academic programs and hands-on learning opportunities that complement and reinforce what kids learn in school. Our programs let kids and teens explore interests at their own pace and equip them with skills they’ll need to advance from kindergarten to 12th grade, and graduate from high school on time, ready to succeed in college, the military or a career.
Fewer than half of all public schools offer visual arts programs. Studies show that those engaged in the arts have an increased desire and ability to learn. Participating in arts programs enhances academic performance and promotes communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, all of which are vital 21st century skills. BGCA offers quality, affordable arts programming to increase young people’s chances to excel in school.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs in the U.S. are expected to grow nearly twice as fast as other fields by 2018. Kids and teens need these skills to compete in a global economy. BGCA’s STEM programs empower young people, especially girls and minority youth, to create new solutions to real-world challenges and become the innovators and problem-solvers of tomorrow.
Three out of four young people in the U.S do not participate in summer learning programs. Lack of participation causes the average student to lose approximately one month of learning; most students from low-income families lose two to three months of learning. To increase kids’ chances of on-time grade progression and high school graduation, BGCA developed Summer Brain Gain, a summer learning loss prevention program. While the average low-income U.S. student lost at least two months of learning last summer, the average Summer Brain Gain participant did not.