In 2004 and 2005, Boys & Girls Clubs of America embarked on an intensive research effort to identify key elements of positive youth development. Boys & Girls Clubs of America conducted in-depth Club visits to interview managers, program staff, teens and community leaders.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America found that the level of impact a Club has on young people depends on 1) the frequency of their participation and 2) the degree to which the Club implements five key elements in its operations. These findings reaffirm our Movement's enduring principles and provide a clear direction for the future of Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo.
These key elements will drive all of our efforts, locally and nationally, to have a lasting impact on youth.
1. A Safe, Positive Environment - The Club is a safe haven where members feel physically and emotionally secure at all times.
2. Fun - The Club facility, staff and program offerings create a welcoming, positive environment that allows members to engage in play, enjoy their play time and be happy and eager to come to the Club.
3. Supportive Relationships - The Club ensures that every young person feels connected to one or more adults and has friendships with peers.
4. Opportunities and Expectations - Club staff and programs consistently communicate the expectation that every child has the potential to excel, be productive and succeed at the Club and in life.
5. Recognition - The Club takes every opportunity to recognize and validate Club members' achievements and accomplishments.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America found that when the five key elements are intentionally infused in a Club’s programs and operations, the Club creates a developmentally rich environment that leads to deepening impact. Here at Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo we strive to retain these key elements to have the highest level of impact on the lives of our young people.