We know that education is the key that opens doors to nearly limitless possibilities for young people.
With this in mind every day, BGCSF provides strong academic mentorship and enrichment activities that promote skill building, confidence, and a love of learning in a safe, supportive, and innovative environment. Every day at the Club, our skilled and caring staff provide the guidance and encouragement that young people need to progress grades annually and graduate from high school with a plan for the future.
Our members come to us with a broad range of academic skills, interests, learning styles, and perceptions about school, so we employ a similarly wide array of programs and strategies to support them. Key program offerings include: Power Hour (homework support), Tutoring, STEM Enrichment, Literacy, Academic Mentoring, College Prep, and Transition Support.
BGCSF takes advantage of its many strong school relationships, including four school-based Clubhouses, partnerships with standout academic nonprofits, free professional and volunteer tutors, college scholarships, academic field trips, and more; helping our youth members achieve and succeed academically.
For one hour each day, Monday through Thursday, BGCSF Clubhouses stop everything to provide dedicated time for homework completion. By providing the time, space, and support, Club staff not only ensure that our members are ready for school the following day, but they demonstrate to youth their dedication to academic achievement.
We partner with Aspire Education Project to provide professional one-on-one and small group tutoring sessions for members who may be struggling in certain subjects or with particular concepts they are learning in school. We compliment this professional tutoring with devoted volunteer tutors, who work across ages and skill levels.
Each Club provides members with hands-on, creative STEM programming to engage youth and spark an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. Our STEM programs are either created in-house by BGCSF staff or run in partnership with STEM-focused organizations. Partners include: The Exploratorium, Tinkering School, Edventure More and the MESA program at UCSF.
We recognize the importance of literacy skills and the connection to academic success. Each Club has a library and provides early literacy programming to serve members ages 6-8. These programs are designed to support youth in developing skills to read, write, listen, speak, and build vocabulary. Education Directors integrate art, music, drama, and creative writing into these programs to motivate and engage youth. We also have a city-wide Summer Literacy Program and hold an annual Citywide Spelling Bee.
We have two mentoring programs that focus on Academic Success: Achievement Matters (grades 1-7) and Formal Mentorship (grades 8-12). Achievement Matters is designed for one-on-one or small groups with weekly check-in time for individual members. The check-in topics range from goal-setting and study skills to leadership and community service. Formal Mentorship is based on a one-on-one model, where each member meets regularly with their mentor for guidance to set and achieve their own academic and personal goals.
The College Prep program consists of a number of workshops and classes that teach the critical components of college education, including scholarship opportunities, financial aid, test prep classes, and exposure to post-secondary options. Part of the College Prep program is an annual college tour for teens, which takes place each spring. The tour is designed to not only see college campuses, but to give our members the opportunity to meet college students and counselors that can answer their questions about college life, financial aid, registration, and more. Through College Prep, teens also receive financial support from the Club to help cover the costs of college applications and test fees.
Clubs are working to support members as they transition from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. Supporting these two critical transitions can set youth on a path for success in a new environment. We host city-wide middle and high school fairs to expose youth and families to alternative school options. Clubs also provide a “Middle School Prep” Program before youth members enter 6th grade to prepare them for the year ahead.