GOAL: To reinforce the knowledge and skills youth learn in school by integrating fun, educational activities throughout Club programs.
BGCA’s five-year strategic plan, Impact 2012, seeks to positively affect the lives of Club members by emphasizing outcomes that help ensure academic success. When Boys & Girls Clubs offer extended learning opportunities and educational enrichment programming during the non-school hours, they help improve young people’s academic performance and encourage them to graduate from high school, pursue a post-secondary education and develop a lifelong love of learning.
WHO:Boys & Girls Club members ages 6 to 18
Project Learn reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school during the hours they spend at the Club. This comprehensive strategy is based on Dr. Reginald Clark’s research showing that students do much better academically when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun, educational activities. Formally evaluated by Columbia University, Project Learn has been proven to boost the academic performance of Club members. The strategy consists of five components:
• Homework help and tutoring enables members to develop the daily habit of completing homework in a safe, quiet, allocated space with staff and volunteer encouragement for five to six hours weekly.
• High-yield learning activities (HYLAs) help members apply what they learn in the classroom and encourage them to make productive choices about how leisure time is spent at the Club and at home.
• Parental involvement empowers significant adults to support members’ academic development by informing them of the child’s progress and providing programs and information so they can assist their child at home.
• School collaboration allows Clubs and teachers to develop individualized plans for members to build competencies in challenging subjects.
• Incentives reward Club members for positive academic participation and encourage parental involvement in Project Learn. HYLAs are the essence of Project Learn. Club staff members are trained to organize daily and weekly program schedules to ensure that every member participates in as many HYLAs as possible, making the entire Club a learning center and every out-of-school moment a learning experience.