Boys & Girls Clubs is one of the largest and most comprehensive youth development organizations in Metro Denver. We run “out-of-school-time” (OST) programs – after the end of the school day during the school year and during the weekday over the summer – at seventeen different program locations, as well as a targeted behavioral intervention program that takes place during the school day. Currently, we are also piloting “extended learning opportunity” (ELO) programs at two schools in southwest Denver, where academics and enrichment are integrated into an experimentally longer school day.
With an annual membership fee of $2 per year, our programs and services are affordable for all youth. The overwhelming majority (90%) of participants in all of our programs are low-income, minority youth between the ages of 6 and 18.
Positive Youth Development
Positive youth development is an approach to working with young people that draws on their unique strengths, recognizes their contributions and ultimately helps them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to become healthy, productive adults.
Our OST programs provide low or no-cost opportunities for youth to participate in “high-yield learning activities” (fun and academically enriching activities) ranging from digital photography and robot-building, to football and skateboarding, to homework help and geography contests, to healthy cooking classes and peer-led pregnancy prevention programs. During the summer, high-impact programming continues with summer-specific activities including baseball clinics with the Colorado Rockies, rafting trips, and summer reading. Additionally, youth between the ages of 8 and 13 who attend the Clubs have the opportunity to spend a week at Gates Camp, for a one-week, single-sex, wilderness and leadership experience in the mountains.
Thanks to a partnership with Food Bank of the Rockies, all of our afterschool and summer programs also provide healthy snacks and a balanced meal every day to every single child who attends.
Program Sites for OST programs include:
Freestanding Boys & Girls Clubs facilities – 8 unique locations across the metro Denver community with facilities and programs that are tailored to each community where they are based. Programs include academic support and career prep, character and leadership development, health and life skills, technology, the arts, and sports, fitness and recreation.
School-based Boys & Girls Club partner sites – 7 locations including one in Adams County District 14, one in Jefferson County and six sites located within the Denver Public Schools (DPS) district. Program sites at DPS schools operate on the nationally-recognized “Beacons Community School” model and rely on robust partnerships to not only engage youth, but also their families, in the development of a robust and thriving community. Additionally, we are currently piloting an extended-learning opportunity program at Godsman Elementary and Johnson Elementary in the southwest corridor. At these Boys & Girls Club program sites, Club staff work closely with school staff to integrate academic instruction and enrichment seamlessly throughout a longer school day.
Gates Camp – A remote, sleep-away summer camp for Boys & Girls Club members located in the mountains of the Indian Peak Wilderness near Ward, CO.
Specialized Youth Development Programming
Boys & Girls Clubs is proud to administer the PACE (Promoting Academics and Character Education) program, a specialized, highly effective three-week intensive behavioral intervention for Denver Public School middle-schoolers on the verge of suspension or expulsion. The PACE program takes place during the traditional school day at three Boys & Girls Clubs locations in the southwest, central and northeast neighborhoods.
Family Support Services
At the Clubs, we believe that engaging parents and family members in their children’s lives is critical to youth’s success in school and life. That’s why we offer regular opportunities for parents to get involved in our programs – not only the ones that directly benefit their children, but those that also allow them to invest in and further their own development and education.
At the Clubs, we know that we’re not the only ones who care about helping at-risk youth succeed. That’s why we’re proud to partner with people, institutions and organizations across the metro area who are also committed to helping every young person reach their full potential. We work with youth, schools, neighbors, businesses, volunteers, families and other partner organizations to collectively improve the communities where our sites are located. Our staff participate in collaborative efforts such as the Denver Afterschool Alliance and the Adams County Youth Initiative. Furthermore, by forging partnerships with community institutions like schools and libraries, as well as other nonprofit organizations, we can ensure that we’re providing the highest quality of services without duplicating efforts. Levering others’ expertise and sharing our own is essential to our community-building work: when we’re all working together toward a shared goal, we can achieve more.