Fun and Easy Ideas for Brain Breaks

With so many young people still having school online, some Boys & Girls Clubs and Youth Centers are transformed into Learning Support Centers during the school day. But even for those who are still doing more traditional programming or for when COVID is OVER (speak it into existence!), having some ideas quick at hand for... Continue Reading →

Activities to Inspire Gratitude

Heading into the holiday season, especially with everything that has happened in 2020, I think it is a good time to reflect on what we are grateful for. And what better way to do that than alongside the youth we serve? The Ancient Roman statesman Cicero is quoted as saying Gratitude is not only the... Continue Reading →

Helpful Tips for Learning Support Centers

BGCA’s Director of Academic Success Lesa Sexton has TONS of great tips from your colleagues on Learning Support Centers! So your Club or Youth Center is now a Learning Support Center and you feel like your job description just went from “Site Director” to "Principal"? Not exactly sure how to navigate this new environment and set of responsibilities? https://giphy.com/gifs/shocked-what-stunned-doJrCO8kCAgNy It sure... Continue Reading →

4 Ways to Support Youth Who Learn Differently

BGCA's Chrissy Chen and Kat Adams partnered up to write this post, filled with interesting info, fascinating examples, and practical ideas! Let's dive in! Treating different things the same can generate as much inequality as treating the same things differently.Kimbleré Crenshaw I was recently stopped in my tracks by this quote from civil rights activist Kimberlé Crenshaw.... Continue Reading →

Building Resilience When Dealing With Racism

BGCA's Stacy Ruff, Director of College & Career Programs, is back on the ClubX Blog, with a free excerpt from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg's recent book, Building Resilience in Children and Teens. Childhood innocence is a beautiful and precious thing.  Pillow forts, Fortnight, play wrestling, knock-knock jokes, and snuggle time... Continue Reading →

Racial Trauma, Healing, and Youth Advocacy

The high-profile violence against Black Americans during interactions with police continue to occur. When it occurs in our local communities, youth may be directly impacted. Increasingly, the trauma has expanded across the country with social media and news coverage. Either way, part of our role as supportive youth development professionals is to help youth to... Continue Reading →

6 Emotional Wellness Practices You Can Use With Youth

Today's post is adapted from the Program Basics for COVID-19 resource. Emotional Safety and Wellness are always important, but provide unique challenges during this time. Emotional wellness relates to youth's ability to identify, communicate, and self-regulate their emotions. If youth do not feel emotionally safe, then they simply do not feel safe at all. Prioritizing... Continue Reading →

Back to School 2020

Back to WHAT?!?! BGCA's Director of Youth Development Programs Susan Ciavolino is here to HELP! What's that sound? Yep, that’s the school bell ringing. Soon! Lots of communities still don’t know if that’s a virtual bell or a real one. But it will be ringing. Very Soon. Or maybe it already happened in your community.... Continue Reading →

It Came, We Saw, Together We Will Conquer

Exciting news! BGCA's Child & Club Safety team is officially in partnership with the ClubX Blog! I'm legit THRILLED because I love them and the work they do. We will be featuring regular content from the team on how to promote physical and emotional safety in afterschool, as well as highlighting awareness initiatives. You can... Continue Reading →

Three Steps to Becoming a Youth Advocate

We are SO EXCITED for the 2020 National Virtual Keystone Conference! To get us motivated BGCA's Senior Director of Programs Val Killebrew is here to give us guidance on how to help youth take action about what they are passionate about. Youth of America are purpose driven and motivated to act on causes they believe... Continue Reading →

Why Teen Voice Matters

Tiffany Thornton, BGCA's Senior Director of Youth Development Services, brings a powerful story of lifting teen voice today. Our nation has been surrounded by images of protests, calls for change and an increased awareness of the prevalence of bias, injustice and systematic racism. The teens at the Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis in Oregon... Continue Reading →

Active Games for Social Distancing

If you are reading this in the future, it is now July 2020, and we have been in a global pandemic for what feels like 18 years now. It's exhausting. Hopefully from your view in the future you are like "Hang in there, it's almost over and then all this great stuff happens!" But for... Continue Reading →

Teens Take the Lead on Safe Driving

At Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we offer many Targeted Programs to support our three Priority Outcome Areas of Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. Programs like Summer Brain Gain, Keystone, and Triple Play. One of my personal favorites? UPS Road Code! If you aren't familiar, UPS Rode Code is BGCA's... Continue Reading →

Supporting Black LGBTQ+ Youth

The below article is revised from a resource on TheTrevorProject.org by Dr. Tia Dole, the organization's Chief Clinical Operations Officer.For 160 years, the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of America has been to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. As we celebrate... Continue Reading →

Reflecting on Pride

This post was written by BGCA staff Kate Endries and Clarke Hill, with contributions from Jennifer Bateman and Heather Campbell In the United States, June is well known as Pride Month and is dedicated to celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) identifying individuals.  Parades, festivals, and celebrations across the nation are devoted to... Continue Reading →

Race Matters.

This blog post was written by Stacy Ruff, BGCA's Director of College & Career Programs and includes a free excerpt on the traumatic impact of racism on young people from the American Academy of Pediatrics upcoming publication, Reaching Teens, 2nd Edition. I certainly can’t speak for everyone but for me last week, and particularly this... Continue Reading →

Addressing Current Events

It is a difficult time in America right now. Following the killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and George Floyd in Minnesota, on top of the national stress we are all feeling from the COVID pandemic, protests and demonstrations are occurring across the nation and social media is awash in horror... Continue Reading →

Club Story: Staying Connected to Teens

Beethoven Felix is a Senior Director of Teen Services for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. BGCA's own Laurie Rodriguez chatted with Beethoven about how he has stayed connected with his teens during this pandemic. Beethoven’s Keystone Club (Barker Interact Keystone Club) received the highest honor a Keystone Club can receive at the... Continue Reading →

5 Podcasts You Can Learn From

I LOVE PODCASTS. My obsessive adoration is genuinely a thing I'm known for. I have a queue I'll never get through. I routinely make personalized recommendation lists for my friends. Two years ago at a National staff conference I even did an Ignite talk about them wearing a shirt I own that says 100% PODCASTS.... Continue Reading →

Get Hip With Lower Body Stretches

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Kat Adams, M.P.H. and BGCA Director of Sports & Recreation. Upper bodies aren’t the only thing that can suffer from poor office ergonomics! Sitting all day, whether in front of a computer, a TV or eating at a table can do some... Continue Reading →

10 Nighttime Routines for Better Sleep

This blog post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was adapted from a post by our partners at Whil. Thank you to CEO Joe Burton (a Club alum!) and Whil for this content. The COVID-19 pandemic is another reminder that good sleep is the foundation of good health. According to the American Sleep Association,... Continue Reading →

Stretches For Deleting Tech Neck

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by BGCA staff Kat Adams, Director of Sports & Recreation, and Kate Buechner, Director of Youth Development Training. For most of us, working from home has not been our primary mode of operations until now, so we’re all scrambling to set up home... Continue Reading →

7 Things to Consider About Teens and Virtual Club

This post is part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak. One of the most common questions being asked about virtual programming right now is “What do I do with teens?” And there isn’t a simple answer. Teen programming has always been opt-in for many of our members, but that is true now more than ever. As you make your program plans,... Continue Reading →

Financial Planning During Tough Times

This blog post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, includes information from our partners at Charles Schwab Foundation. Thank you to Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz and Charles Schwab Foundation for this content.  COVID-19 has brought about many changes to daily life, including social distancing, homeschooling, learning to cook, and adjusting to life at home.... Continue Reading →

Take Four Calm Breaths

This post is part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak and contains a free activity download from our partners at the Michael Phelps Foundation. At Boys & Girls Clubs, we have a LOT of famous friends. I mean, we have DENZEL in our speed dial. Another one of our friends is the most successful... Continue Reading →

Letting the Light In

This post is part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak. So I've been kind of putting off writing this post, because I know it is an important topic, and my blog buddy Kate said it was a great idea and I absolutely should write it, but I also feel a bit vulnerable and overwhelmed... Continue Reading →

Celebrating Earth Day – Digitally!

BGCA's Lesa Sexton can't stop won't stop writing ClubX Blog posts filled with incredible educational ideas! With many of us stuck inside these days, we are gaining a newfound appreciation for the outdoors. What we wouldn’t give for a hike in the woods, a picnic in the park, or another chance to dip our toes... Continue Reading →

Everyday Movement

#MovementMonday this week is so good, it is #TakingOverTuesday! This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Heather Campbell, BGCA Senior Director of Youth Development Programs and member of the Sports and Recreation team. Life for everyone is different these days, routines are off, gyms and public spaces we... Continue Reading →

Just Play Outside

It's #MovementMonday! This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Michelle McQuiston, BGCA Director of Youth Development Editorial Projects. It started so innocently, with a delightful-sounding daily Lunchtime Doodle with Mo Willems … and progressed … to a !!SEVEN-DAY FREE TRIAL!! of a streaming yoga service, which I’ve used... Continue Reading →

Parenting During a Pandemic

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Omar Guessous, BGCA National Director of Evaluation and Insights. A bad dad joke a day keeps the doctor away. Okay not really, but let’s try anyway. Today, my son asked "Can I have a book mark?" and I burst into tears. 11... Continue Reading →

Learning Through Making and Tinkering

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Susan Ciavolino, BGCA Academic Success Director. What do our kids need right now? First and foremost they need connection—those 5 Key Elements for Positive Youth Development are even more crucial now than they were a few weeks ago when your Clubs were... Continue Reading →

We Are Grieving

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was co-written by BGCA’s own Brian Hill and Kate Endries, both members of the National Alliance for Grieving Children. The coronavirus pandemic has stopped the world in its tracks and required all of us to question the safety and security of things we once... Continue Reading →

Be A Coronavirus Myth Buster!

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Danielle Morris, M.P.H. and BGCA National Director of Youth Development Programs. I don’t know about you, but my head is spinning! The media, a next-door neighbor, your best friend from high school, and a favorite coworker all claim to have the definitive... Continue Reading →

Managing Stress Using Mindfulness

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Kate Endries, MSW, licensed social worker and BGCA Health & Wellness Director. If you are anything like me, these last few weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions. That emotional tornado that you are experiencing is perfectly normal, and valid. Every day seems to bring something... Continue Reading →

Finding Your New Normal

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Laura Gover, M.P.H. and BGCA Federal Grants Director. It’s the start of a new week, and while we all wish this meant the return to our normal way of life, for most it still means getting comfortable with a new way of... Continue Reading →

Workouts That Don’t Need Equipment

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Kat Adams, M.P.H. and BGCA Director of Sports & Recreation. We've been posting ways to manage anxiety here on the ClubX Blog. But another way to deal with stress during this strange time is to literally lean into it! Exercising while you’re... Continue Reading →

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