Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston (BGCGH) announces comprehensive back-to-school programming to serve Club members and their families in five counties in the Greater Houston Area. As area school districts reopen with in-person instruction, virtual learning or a hybrid of the two, BGCGH will offer options that support academic needs and help close the gap of “pandemic learning loss,” in which students have fallen behind by several months since March.
“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston has continually adapted our model to meet the needs of Club members and parents in innovative ways,” says Kevin Hattery, President and CEO. “Our back-to-school programming is no different, as we offer options to help our members stay on track academically and socially, while maintaining the highest safety standards possible. Our mission of providing a safe haven to equip kids for success in school and bright futures remains the same.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston will continue with its traditional in-person, after-school programming based on each school district’s schedule for the start of school. However, new initiatives, including virtual options, will be available, allowing BGCGH to broaden its scope of services and bridge the gap in learning among its youth constituency. Additionally, the Clubs will incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL) into the programming, which is essential to good mental health.
Hattery points to a Gallup poll in June in which three in 10 parents said their child is experiencing emotional or mental harm because of social distancing and school closures. Social and emotional learning helps children (and adults) understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. BGCGH staff who have special training in SEL will work with Club members on these important life skills.
All Clubs will adhere to strict standards for Covid prevention, including mask wearing, social distancing, temperature checks and frequent hand washing.
Traditional After School Programming
BGCGH will provide after-school programs and activities in the four core program areas, including academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship, and workforce readiness. Staff members will develop and foster strong relationships with all members and families at each Club.
To help combat pandemic and summer learning losses from stay-at-home mandates, BGCGH has aligned several of its in-person programs to TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). TEKS are learning standards set by the state of Texas for all public school districts and represent the objectives students learn throughout the year. Programs included in the TEKS alignment include: Summer Brain Gain and Math Express (math); NASA Astro Camp (science) and Book Nook and Page Turners (literacy).
Virtual Club Experience
BGCGH will offer after-school virtual programs and activities, also in the core program areas, to students with access to the internet who choose to participate from home. This includes OnDemand Club Experience, which is online, interactive programming that allows Club Members to view videos on various topics such as STEAM, the arts, literacy, fitness, character building and more.
The Blue (Learning) Lab
The Blue Lab will offer a safe and supportive learning environment during normal school hours for members who are enrolled in virtual school with no option to attend in person. The Club will be transformed into a “lab” where members can attend virtual class, complete school assignments, and receive assistance from Club staff as needed. In Texas, more than 1.8 million students, including many BGCGH Club members, lack adequate access to internet services. Clubs can help fill that opportunity gap by ensuring members can utilize the internet and other technology, both during and after school.
Saturday Day Camps
For the first time, BGCGH will implement day camps on Saturdays. This concept replicates after-school programming, with an emphasis on projects that provide extra learning support to help close the gap and get kids closer to learning objectives. Additionally, indoor and outdoor activities promoting physical well-being will be part of the programming.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston will continue to evolve and adapt its model as needed to best serve the community. Various programming will include a nominal fee and all in-person activities will include a meal for participants. For more information on BGCGH programming and how to sign up, please visit www.bgcgh.org.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston (BGCGH) announces comprehensive back-to-school programming to serve Club members and their families in five counties in the Greater Houston Area. Courtesy Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
Our mission is to inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Our vision is to put success within reach for our Club members and keep them on track to graduate high school. We help them realize a positive plan for the future that includes good character, citizenship, workforce readiness and a healthy lifestyle. Each year, more than 26,000 youth ages 6 to 17 walk through our doors for our after-school and summer programs. At our Clubs, youth are provided meals, strong role models, homework assistance, organized athletics, character development and access to the arts. Membership costs just $5 per school year and $25 for the entire summer. We are a United Way agency. For more information, visit our website www.bgcgh.org. At Boys & Girls Clubs, we do whatever it takes to build great futures!
BGCGH Social media handles