Since 2002, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta (BGCMSD) has offered time-tested and proven programs to the youth of the Mississippi Delta will one goal “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens”. BGCMSD operates 9 Club sites throughout the Delta in the following communities: Batesville, Clarksdale, Greenwood, Grenada, Itta Bena, Jonestown, Lexington, and Yazoo City. Our Clubs serve nearly 2,000 youth with outreach programming that reached over 3,000 young people, ages 6-18, in 2018. Club members participate in the 5 core program areas outlined by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). These 5 core program areas are Education,Character & Leadership, Health & Life Skills, Sports & Fitness, and the Arts. Each program area is comprised of a variety of age/gender appropriate programs specifically developed to “grow” with the Club member as he or she grows through the Club each year.
Our organization focuses on 5 key areas to meet increased demands and have an even deeper impact on the future of our community’s youth – These areas are: 1) Safety 2) Fun 3)Recognition 4) Academic Success and 5) Healthy Lifestyles.
It is our belief that ‘Kid’s vote with their feet”. Our Club members voluntarily attend their local Clubs because inside Club doors they are engaged. They feel safe. They receive support and are encouraged to dream and to DREAM BIG. They are taught the importance of giving back to their Clubs and their communities. They find agency in their own voice. They are shown that they can escape the cycle of poverty through making healthy choices.
These choices are borne from repeated exposure to carefully crafted, well-rounded ideals – ideals realized through the 5 core program areas presented each day at all of our Club sites. These specific programs include: Power Hour, SMART Moves, Passport to Manhood, SMART Girls, Career Launch, local Youth of the Month and state Youth of the Year, Junior Staff, Money Matters, ClubTECH, Community Volunteering and Advocacy, Literacy Initiatives, Mentoring, Sports and Fitness (basketball, baseball, dance, yoga, organized outdoor activities), Visual and Musical Arts, Health and Nutrition. Club members are presented with programs teaching the dangers of participating in At-Risk behaviors such as tobacco, drug and alcohol use, bullying, gang participation, the importance of abstinence, and non-violent conflict resolution.
Our Club sites are open year-round, providing both after-school programs and all-day summer programs. Members receive healthy snacks and meals daily. Every day they participate in academic programs providing one-on-one tutoring and homework assistance. Members participate in organized recreational activities and creative programming. Age/gender appropriate life skills are discussed across curriculum areas exposing members to empowering ideals and emotional supports that encourage them to make choices to achieve their own dreams. Our members learn to be advocates for themselves, each other, and the communities they call home.
In addition to our staff, Clubs have a fully vetted group of mentors and volunteers to work with members. Specific programs and activities are developed and implemented in an age appropriate way. Middle school members have a dedicated area in the Club to provide them with a “space of their own”. As they transition into high school they move through the Club. The relationships created with staff, volunteers, and mentors are continued throughout the Club members’ progression through the Club. Members are encouraged to identify community service projects and to “mentor” younger members in the Club. These opportunities foster character & leadership skills as well as create a sense of self-worth and civic-minded responsibility.