Athletics Lead To Academic Success!
Many of our members live in communities that lack major recreational and educational programs. Our Citywide athletics program offers members at all nine Clubhouses the opportunity to join various leagues, tournaments and competitions throughout the year. In order to join though, youth must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA.
And to be a part of the Rebels Basketball Program, a year-round academic coaching program, youth must maintain a 2.5 GPA. BGCSF also offers non-traditional sports including running, karate/judo and floor hockey.
BGCSF: Why are sports leagues so important for BGCSF youth?
We use sports to drive academic success. And because our sports leagues take place throughout the school year, we make sure that all participating members maintain at least a 2.0 minimum GPA. If their grades slip below, they are given a tutor for six weeks to get back to the minimum GPA. This is our way of helping keep youth on track with their academics, while also providing them with a healthy outlet after school.
BGCSF: What do youth learn from participating in sports leagues?
Citywide sports leagues are a great way to engage at the Clubhouses. Youth make new friends, develop good character and sportsmanship, learn team-work and receive 1:1 academic support. Youth also gain a sense of belonging and sense of ownership on their teams.
BGCSF: What are some highlights/results from the program?
• This year, four seniors have received Division 1 basketball scholarships because of their involvement with the Rebels Basketball Program. This is the highest number of kids ever!
• This year, all 16 8th graders received scholarships to attend private high schools in San Francisco
• Over 66 Rebels have gone on to play NCAA Division 1 sports – and three have gone on to play professionally – Jason Hill Jacksonville, Jaguars(NFL); Taiwan Jones, Oakland Raiders (NFL); and Jene Morris, Indiana Fever (WNBA)!
Healthy Lifestyles at the Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club at Hunters Point
The Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club at Hunters Point is located in a low-income neighborhood where the most commonly sold products are alcohol, tobacco and junk food. In this environment, it’s tough to grow up with proper nutrition or exercise, and residents are hospitalized more than residents of other neighborhoods for almost every disease, including diabetes, heart failure and obesity. As a way to offset those challenges, BGCSF is offering two programs to give youth the opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle in this community: Power Play and the first youth Supper Program in San Francisco.
Power Play is a new approach for BGCSF that provides 30 minutes of mandatory exercise five days a week. The program incorporates fun warm-up and cool-down exercises where youth are introduced to drills such as jumping jacks, high-knees and defensive shuttles. It’s currently being piloted at three Clubs with the goal to roll-out to all nine Clubs by 2014. On top of exercise, the Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club at Hunters Point recently launched the FIRST youth Supper Program in San Francisco as a way to promote healthier lifestyles for at-risk children and teens. Open to any youth under 18, Club members or non-members will have an opportunity to receive supper five days a week.
BGCSF Youth Volunteer in their Communities
Children and teens at Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco give back regularly, in the community and with younger kids in their Clubhouses. We encourage volunteerism with our kids because it promotes healthy lifestyles and choices, enhances development, teaches life skills, improves the community, and encourages a lifelong service ethic.
Studies show that kids who volunteer do better in school, feel more positive about themselves, and avoid risky behaviors (for example, using drugs). Those who participate in service activities are also more likely to vote and have a positive work ethic. In addition, contributions made through volunteering can make a real difference in their communities.
Club Starts Facebook Program to Build Youth Skills
At the Ernest Ingold Club, a group of middle school-aged youth participate in a Facebook Club that uses social media platforms to more than socialize.
Part of the Facebook Club’s curriculum teaches youth about the history of social media, the array of social media platforms, and basic internet safety skills, such as dealing with cyberbullying and online harassment. Youth also learn how to upload, edit and post photos and videos. They also develop communication skills – not only from interacting on Facebook and other social media sites, but also from interviewing other Club youth, program staff, and volunteers from all aspects of the Club for Facebook updates.
In order to become a member of the Facebook Club, youth ages 10-12 must exhibit maturity and obtain a signature from a parent or guardian.
Click here to visit their Facebook page and stay connected!