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Boys & Girls Clubs of America

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2000
3 pages

This fact sheet describes the history and impact the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA) and the support provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in establishing new clubs in at-risk communities.


The Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA) were founded in 1906 targeting communities and areas where children were most disadvantaged. The B&GCA network has established an average of 250 new clubs per year during the past 4 years. An initiative was launched by B&GCA to establish new clubs in public housing communities nationwide. Results of a study indicate that B&GCA in public housing communities had a significant impact on juvenile crime. In addition, the overall quality of life for these children and families improved. Since 1992, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance has provided more than $150 million through cooperative agreements to B&GCA to support the establishment of new clubs in public housing, Indian Country, and other at-risk communities. There are several key components to the B&GCA to help members build self-esteem, acquire morals and values, and be productive citizens. Highlights of these components include: guidance, discipline, and values from caring adult leaders; constructive and supervised youth development activities and programs; a comprehensive violence prevention initiative, and a safe haven from the negative influences of the street. Program models developed, prepared, and distributed by B&GCA include character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness, and recreation, and delinquency and gang prevention. In 1999, it was estimated that B&GCs served 3.2 million youth nationwide in more than 2,600 clubs, 388 of which were in public housing areas.