In 2011, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver expanded their services to five Denver Beacon Neighborhood Centers. These sites, formerly managed by Catholic Charities, will allow Boys & Girls Clubs to serve an additional 1,500 children each year.
The Beacons model is a nationally recognized, evidence-based model in which a community-based organization manages a neighborhood center within a public school building, making it a beacon for the community to gather, connect, and benefit from the services offered. Each Beacon Neighborhood Center provides programming in the following three areas: (1) Out-of-School Time programming for youth, (2) Parent Engagement Programming and (3) Family Support Services.
This year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver will operate five Beacon Neighborhood Centers within these Denver Public Schools locations:
- Cole Arts & Sciences Academy (Northeast Denver)
- Force Elementary School (Southwest Denver)
- Johnson Elementary School (Southwest Denver)
- Noel Middle School/Noel Campus (far Northeast Denver)
- Place Bridge Academy (Southeast Denver)
Programming at each location varies slightly to fit each school’s demographics and identified needs. Common activities across all sites include:
- Academic Activities: Tutoring, homework help and academic enrichment activities take place at each site with the purpose of enhancing day-school learning, including extra time for English language acquisition and providing youth with experiential learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
- Enrichment Activities: These activities are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic learning of participating youth and include Arts & Culture, Career Exploration, Leadership, Pre-Collegiate, Recreation and Technology.
- Summer Activities: Programming (ranging from 4-6 weeks) is offered in each location, serving more than 400 youth. Summer programming keeps students engaged and prevents summer learning loss by including hands-on academic activities and enrichment classes.
- Parent Engagement: Beacons partners with each school to empower and encourage parent/caregiver involvement to strengthen the link between school and family, and to promote a more supportive, successful environment at home and at school.
- Family Support & Wrap Around Services: In order to support the whole child, Beacons provides and partners with dozens of organizations to ensure that critical services such as basic needs, health and adult education are accessible to children and their families.
Who is a member at the Beacon Neighborhood Centers?
These extension sites serve high need populations in several Denver neighborhoods, providing much needed resources to youth and families. All five sites have large minority populations, students who struggle academically and face economic barriers.
At each of the Beacon sites, an average of 94% of students receive Free and Reduced School Lunch, 20% higher than the district average. Families in these neighborhoods struggle with bouts of homelessness, language barriers, scarce after-school resources and gang activity.
For more information, please contact Regan Suhay at ReganS@bgcmd.org.