Three Pillars of Youth Development

1. Healthy Lifestyles

Several targeted programs delivered by the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan contribute to children and youth learning about the importance of healthy lifestyles, including eating a healthy diet, practicing healthy lifestyle choices and making a lifelong commitment to physical fitness.

Triple Play helps youth make positive decisions about their health, fitness and well-being and is a dynamic wellness program that demonstrates how eating right and keeping fit add up to a healthy lifestyle. Offered daily at the Club, Triple Play improves Club members’ knowledge of daily healthy habits — the importance of proper diet and exercise for life, increases the number of hours per day children participate in physical activities; and strengthens their ability to interact positively with others. Social recreation is the “soul” component of the Club, creating on-the-spot fun, strengthening character, increasing confidence and enhancing Club members’ ability to relate well with others. Recreational activities in this space include Foosball team building activities, the Wii and educational games.

 The Club’s SMART Moves/Life Skills prevention programs develop young people’s capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, set personal goals and live successfully as self-sufficient adults. The programs include several age and gender specific drug and alcohol prevention programs, and is supported by a grant from the City of Mahhattan.

Other Programs Include:

  • Healthy Habits
  • Daily Challenges
  • Social Recreation

Thank you to Konza United Way, Inc. and the City of Manhattan for supporting Healthy Lifestyles!

2. Academic Success

Project Learn reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school through high-yield learning activities at the Club. Research shows that fun, academically beneficial activities increase academic performance. These activities include leisure reading, writing activities, homework help and games like Scrabble® which develop youths’ cognitive skills. Our Project Learn program emphasizes collaborations between Club staff, parents and school personnel.

Through a variety of educational activities, small group mentoring programs help children achieve academic success and enhance character and citizenship by reinforcing academic skills, particularly reading, math and social studies.  In this space, volunteer mentors, referred by K-State Volunteer Center/K-State Academic Mentors, provide additional attention to children at the Club in a variety of activities.

Arts activities help enhance spatial skills, creativity and academic success.  In the art room, members engage in learning the elements and principles of art (line, color, texture, space, form and shape) through art education activities using paint, clay creation, mixed media, watercolor and photography.  In a 15-station lab, Digital Arts Suites develop members’ technical skills, creativity and critical thinking with projects in Web design, graphic design, digital photography, electronic musicmaking and digital movie making.

Career Launch, designed specifically for middle school and high school students, promotes career development with a technology orientation, with an emphasis on technology-based job searches and application procedures, including for higher education institutions.  It also offers an on-line job interest survey. This program helps youth explore career options and understand the need for higher education or post-secondary training. Activities and topics planned include: career interest surveys, completing job applications, doing mock interviews, how to dress for interviews, discussing barriers to their dream career, developing goals to overcome those barriers, and doing job searches.

Other Programs Include:

  • Robotics
  • Technology
  • Drama Matters
  • Music Makers
  • Photography
  • KidzLit

Thank you to Konza United Way, Inc. for supporting Adademic Success programs.

3. Character & Citizenshship

Targeted programs, such as Youth of the Year, Torch Club and Community Service, empower youth to support and influence the Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process and respect their own and others' cultural identities.