The social media app TikTok has been making headlines. What is it and why does it matter?
Responding to School Shootings
Resources for those who work with youth on coping with crisis for teens, younger youth, and en Español
Three Ways to Reduce Stigma Around Mental Health
May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Reduce stigma and increase empathy around mental health with these three ideas.
The State of Youth Mental Health
What the data says about youth mental health right now and what we can do to support the young people in our care
Winter is Coming: Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Cope
Dr. Thomas Vance is back with some tips on staying bright during the winter months, because as youth development staff we need to take care of ourselves so that we can show up fully for youth.
Supporting Youth When School Shootings Are In the News
Resources to help guide youth through tough conversations about school shootings, featuring Be There and others from BGCA
Social Media’s Impact on Young Women: Understanding the Headlines
News about the impact of social media, particularly Instagram, on the mental health of young people has recently made headlines. But what does it really mean, and how does it impact our work in afterschool?
Compassion Fatigue: What Is It and What Can We Do?
After two years of extraordinary circumstances, many of us are feeling tired. Learn more about compassion fatigue and tips to manage it, both in yourself and for your staff.
The Four Things Rhode Island Boys & Girls Clubs Are Focused On In 2021
When Rhode Island Clubs surveyed youth statewide to find out how they were doing, the results were surprising. Learn more and what they will be focusing on in 2021.
Self-Harm: When Emotions Leave a Mark
Some reports suggest there may be a rise in self-harming behaviors in youth. Learn what self-harm is, why some engage in it, and what we can do to help.
Mental Health: Spotting the Warning Signs in Youth
Warning signs that a young person may need some extra support with their mental health, featuring resources for afterschool staff
Talking With Youth About Mental Health
Fourteen questions to help youth open up about their life and start a conversation about mental health.
Supporting Trans and Nonbinary Youth Amidst Anti-Trans Legislation
A wave of state-level legislation around the rights of transgender youth is making headlines. Here's what is happening, why it is so important, and what we can do.
Supporting Youth When Police Violence Is In the News
The high-profile violence against Black Americans during interactions with police continue to occur. Get resources to support the youth in your care, featuring the Passport to Manhood and NEW Smart Girls Growing Up Black Discussion Guides.
Maintaining Resilience When Democracy is Tested
Resources to help guide youth through tough conversations about the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021
Teens, Emotional Health, and What We Can Do
The latest research on teens and how they are coping with COVID-19 plus the new BGCA resource SMART Moves: Emotional Wellness Teen Expansion Pack that can help.
Learning How to Handle BIG! EMOTIONS!
BGCA launched the brand new SMART Moves: Emotional Wellness resource earlier this month and we are SO EXCITED for you to check it out! Here to tell us about her Club's experience as part of the pilot test group for SMART Moves is Sarah Wilkerson, Executive Director of the Loudon County unit of the Boys... 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 →
Chilling Out in the Smoky Mountains
Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains Club Director Monika Keenan sent me photos of a new space in her Club, and without missing a beat I said "you should write another blog post." So she did! Read on for tips on how to create a safe, calm space even without a huge budget.... 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 →
Addressing Current Events
Tips for having conversations with youth about difficult topics in the news
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Social Connecting While Social Distancing
This post is part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak. This whole thing is W I L D, y'all. I mean really, whoever is currently losing at Jumanji out there needs to CUT. IT. OUT. But until that happens, we are all social distancing together. For introverts like me, this feels a little... 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 →
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 →
Managing Stress Using Deep Breathing
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. The new normal that the coronavirus has created in our lives can feel very scary. Unfortunately, we do not know what the future holds yet, and that can cause a... Continue Reading →
Managing Stress Using the Crisis Text Line
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. In this awful, weird, and uncertain time of Coronavirus, there is a lot of loneliness, stress, and anxiety being felt across the world. The pandemic has impacted us in ways... Continue Reading →
Managing Stress During Coronavirus
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. The Coronavirus outbreak is sending shockwaves across the world, disrupting everything from health, to education, to finances and food security. Many of us are navigating completely unfamiliar territory, which... Continue Reading →
6 Things to Do While Shut Down for Coronavirus
This post is part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak. WELP. Two weeks ago when we posted our Preventing the Spread of Viruses blog, little did we know what situation we would find ourselves in today. Boys & Girls Clubs, schools, and other youth-serving organizations across the country are closed, and not only are... Continue Reading →