Education and Career
Overview of the Program
To help Club members achieve academic and professional success, Club programming provides opportunities to become proficient in basic educational disciplines and apply learning to everyday situations.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics focused programming is offered at Clubs throughout the state. Clubs strive to provide learning opportunities which productively engage Club members in STEAM processes of inquiry and creative problem solving, and ultimately, encourage their pursuit of academic and professional opportunities in STEAM related fields.
First LEGO League
Guided by two or more adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League* (FLL) teams (up to 10 members, grades 4-8) research a real world problem (e.g. food safety, recycling, energy, etc.) and are challenged to develop a solution. As part of the solution, they must design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®. The program culminates in a competition on a table-top playing field. FIRST LEGO League seeks to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs which build science, engineering, and technology skills. FLL hopes to inspire innovation and teach life skills, including initiative-taking, communication, and leadership.
Clubs around the state have been undergoing a technology upgrade to ensure that we offer the most up-to-date facilities, hardware and software for our members. Technology Centers helps us put that equipment to use by teaching Club members advanced, yet practical technology skills. Members explore not just what computers do, but also how they work and how they can be used to ensure success in school and the workplace. The technology centers provide access to MyFuture, BGCA's mobile-friendly web platform with access to over 325+ Boys & Girls Club program activities in 14 program areas such as STEM, leadership and the arts. With MyFuture, kids and teens can learn new skills, connect with their friends, and earn recognition and rewards in a safe and fun online environment
Reading is Fundamental (RIF)
Research shows when kids do not read over the summer, they can lose up to two grade levels of comprehension. RIF’s goal is to boost the reading achievement of elementary school children–especially low income and rural students–by stemming “summer slide.” Statewide, thousands of youth participate with 83% showing reading skills gains, compared with 57% of children in the RIF national study.
BookNook is a social enterprise on a mission to close the reading opportunity gap by using technology to provide every student access to world class teaching, whether at school or online. Founded in 2016, BookNook has quickly grown to partner with hundreds of schools, school districts, and nonprofits across 32 states. It has received national recognition for its impact on students’ reading ability and its unique equity-based pricing model.
Homework completion is a critical component of young people’s academic success. Power Hour is an interactive homework help and tutoring program that encourages Club members to become self-directed learners. A short-term goal of this program is to help young people develop academic, behavioral, and social skills through homework completion; the long-term goal is to ensure that youth graduate from high school, pursue post-secondary education and become life-long learners.
Mentoring programs link youth with positive, caring adult role models. Volunteer mentors provide consistent support, guidance, and concrete help to encourage mentees to improve their academics, explore goals, solve life issues, and improve self-esteem. According to the National Youth Mentoring Initiative, one in three youth (an estimated 16 million) will grow up
without a mentor. Therefore, providing consistent mentorship to children and teens is essential to the Boys & Girls Club mission.
Studies have shown that mentoring increases confidence, improves school performance, and reduces high-risk activities. Additionally, young adults who had a mentor as a youth are more likely to enroll in college, volunteer monthly, and hold leadership positions.
Project Learn is a holistic strategy supporting Youth-Centered Learning in Clubs. Project Learn is intended to complement and reinforce what youth learn during the school day, while creating experiences that invite them to fall in love with learning. Rooted in social-emotional development practices, programs in this area enable all youth to be effective, engaged, adaptive learners who are on track to graduate with a plan for the future. As an informal learning space, Clubs have an opportunity to offer both remediation and enrichment, all while inviting youth to discover and pursue passions that connect to future opportunities. Project Learn includes experiential learning, so that youth learn actively, through a "hands-on and mind-on" approach.
Project Learn was rigorously evaluated in the late '90s and the study found positive outcomes; the study was published in a peer-reviewed journal; and the program is listed on the National Institute of Justice's programs and practices registry with a promising rating. Extensively field-tested and formally evaluated by Columbia University with funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Project Learn has been proven to boost the academic performance of Club members.
College Scholarship Program
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware works hard to ensure Great Futures are realized for all of our club kids. Often that means helping them to secure resources to realize their dreams. One way we do this is by providing privately funded scholarships to make their educational dreams a reality.
Thanks to generous donors who understand the importance of education, we are able to offer scholarships to offset the costs of tuition, books and other administrative fees for our Club Kids.
Over the past five years, the scholarship program and its generous donors have awarded 79 scholarships, totaling $112,000. Any former or current Club Kid interested in scholarship opportunities can download the Scholarship Application and return the completed application to Rebecca Wilczynski at
College Awareness and Planning (CAP) Program
The CAP program helps students and parents navigate the college planning and completion process. Through this program students receive individualized help with deciding a college major and career, exploring colleges and universities, preparing for college admissions tests (SAT/ACT), writing essays for college applications, applying for financial aid, and scholarships. Parents receive help with completing financial aid forms. The program’s goal is to help students secure financial aid, help them overcome the inevitable challenges of attending, applying, and graduating from college. The CAP program provides the kind of individualized help that high school guidance counselors and others simply cannot. You can learn more about the CAP program by contacting Dr. Patricia Smith at email@example.com
Summer Youth Employment Program
100% of the Club members state that they gained valuable workforce development skills by participating in the 2018 Summer Youth Employment program.
The Summer Youth Employment Program serves low-income teens thanks to funding from the Delaware Department of Labor. In 2018, youth were placed statewide in seven different Clubs. 100% of survey respondents said: the program was a positive and valuable experience for them; they said that they know more about what it means to be a professional in the workforce than they did before the program; the program helped them think about their post- secondary education and career goal65s in new ways; and, they would like to participate in this program again.
Summer Youth Employment Program participants receive a full day of onboarding and orientation at the beginning of the summer and take part in various professional development opportunities over the course of 10 weeks, including completing modules from Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Career Launch curriculum as well as college and career planning sessions with Delaware Technical and Community College and completing 250 hours of work experience at our Clubs, where they participate in several career paths identified as high priority by the Delaware Division of Employment and Training, including: first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving; office admin support workers; child, family, and school social workers; teacher assistants; and, preschool teachers.
The Wowzers! model involves hiring teens to deliver high-quality programming under the supervision of trained youth development professionals. This model not only provides workforce development experience to the teens, it also delivers information to younger children from peers they know, trust, and look up to. By utilizing the Wowzers! model to deliver Eyeball It Art and Money Matters ( Financial literacy), it will not only increase the high quality enrichment activity experience of our younger members, but also the teens who are becoming experts in the material and delivering it. Over the past two years, over 200 high school and college students have brought “Wow!” to our Club kids by implementing Boys & Girls Club enrichment programming to our younger Club members. Programs include Money Matters (financial literacy), Computer Education (My.Future), Athletics (volleyball, basketball), Environmental Projects (Garden Wowzers!), and Art (Eyeball It! Art Wowzers!).
21st Century Community Learning Centers
21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLCs) are federally funded, high quality afterschool and summer programs. They provide students with academic support, enrichment, and school engagement. They complement students' regular academic program. 21st CCLC programs provide a broad array of opportunities for students and their families including such things as:
Academic Supports: hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math, homework help, literacy activities, SAT preparation, tutoring, and more;
Career Exploration and College Access: college application support, college visits, internships, job shadowing, and more
Fine Arts: dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and more;
Health Promotion: counseling and mental health programs, healthy cooking, nutrition education, substance abuse prevention, and more;
Physical Activity: baseball, basketball, martial arts, soccer, swimming, yoga, and more;
Youth Development: community service, good decision-making, leadership development, mediation skills, social and emotional learning, violence prevention, and more; and
Family Engagement: adult education, family events, family literacy, and more.