Like every aspect of life, BGCSF Clubhouses have looked different over the last year. But through it all, our incredible youth and staff have inspired us every day with the strength, courage, and positivity that they bring to our communities – both virtually and in-person.
This month, we turn the spotlight on BGCSF’s Tenderloin Clubhouse and the profound dedication of Club staff in ensuring a continuum of care over the past year. Although the world turned upside-down, Tenderloin Clubhouse’s Vision Statement remained the same: To cultivate a thriving community with the support of caring adult allies and through teaching and learning; provide resources and opportunities to strengthen creativity, cultural competence, and health for each and every youth every day.
With every turn in this pandemic, youth, families, and the Tenderloin community relied on the Clubhouse as a trusted ally, resource, and leader. When schools first closed, staff immediately pivoted to providing virtual programming for over 40 youth a day and continued to do so for the remainder of the school year. Over the summer, innovative and fun virtual programs served over 70 youth a day and the TL YouTube Channel was launched featuring lessons, games, and much needed connection. As we entered the 2020-2021 School Year, the Clubhouse reopened its facilities as a leading San Francisco Community Hub to 40 in-person youth in three cohorts, providing academic support in virtual classrooms as well as enrichment, art programing and wellness opportunities.
In addition to learning support, the Club provides programs that combine hybrid in-person and virtual participation. This strategy allows for an extended reach so that more youth can access important opportunities such as BGCSF’s signature character and leadership development programs including Keystone Club, College Prep, and Torch Club.
Throughout the year, core traditions and annual programs were adjusted so that they could be celebrated despite the pandemic. The Youth of the Year Leadership Program was held virtually in February. The Club had the privilege to select Jennifer, a fierce advocate for equity in education to serve as our 2021 Tenderloin Clubhouse Youth of the Year. Throughout the holiday season, staff distributed donated gifts and gift cards to members and youth. Together, we celebrated with special meals, crafts, and other socially distanced activities.
The Club has also been on the forefront of COVID-19 education efforts and regular wellness checks. Pop-up COVID-19 testing and flu vaccinations for the community were hosted onsite and staff routinely provide important health information to families as well as connecting them with helpful organizations and resources.
Today, the Clubhouse is focused on the final chapter of the pandemic and the recovery. All of us are committed to two stated purposes: mitigating learning loss and strengthening the social and emotional health and wellbeing of youth.