Our commitment to creating safe, equitable and engaging Club experiences for ALL young people is always our number one priority.
The future prosperity of our young people and the communities Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities (BGCTC) serves depends on our organization’s ability to continue mobilizing now to ensure that all young people have meaningful opportunities to succeed in school and life. The mission of BGCTC is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Clubs provide a fun, safe and constructive environment for kids and teens during out-of-school hours. Clubs offer programs and services to help young people succeed in school, develop leadership skills, maintain healthy lifestyles, and build career aspirations for the future.
High poverty levels and academic achievement gaps existed in the Twin Cities community pre-COVID and have grown exponentially over the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic, layered with the deaths of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, and countless others, in addition to the long-overdue reckoning taking place in America around systemic racism and oppression, has magnified inequities with an overwhelming impact. BGCTC recognizes the deep pain and feelings of fatigue over injustices Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities face every day, and we remain committed to fighting against racism and inequities wherever and however they exist. Now, more than ever, the young people BGCTC serves need the tools and support to envision a bright and successful future.
As we continue to navigate our new normal and the hope of a post-pandemic world, there is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our youth and families. Clubs are a safe space, and we continue to strengthen our commitment to championing inclusivity, equity, and opportunity for our young people. Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to do better by our young people, to speak up for them, and provide them a platform where their voices can be heard and be part of the much-needed systemic change in our nation. Today, and every day, we stand in peace and unity with the communities we serve.
Strengthening Supports to Youth and Families
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Boys & Girls Clubs Twin Cities recognized our immediate responsibility to strengthen supports for our families as they faced intensified challenges with school closures, work disruptions, and potential illness and health concerns. A year later, we continue to connect with each one of our families to make sure they have the supports they need while also working in small virtual and in-person teams to strengthen and enhance curriculum, lesson plans, and general Club operations. We continue to work with technical partners to ensure appropriate and equitable access to connectivity, to support our members academics through virtual learning and also provide supplemental relationships and social-emotional support through virtual delivery of BGCTC programs. We also continue to partner with food distributors, grocers, and businesses to provide strengthened food support.
BGCTC’s March 2020 – April 2021 COVID-19 response efforts include:
- Family wellness check-ins. BGCTC staff members continue to connect with each of our families to make sure they have the supports they need during this difficult time. These calls focus on immediate needs related to shelter, food, technology needs, and medical care.
- Connection to and distribution of food. BGCTC works diligently with local grocery stores, restaurants and caterers in the BIPOC community to connect our families to additional nutrition resources when needed.
- Delivery of youth development programs as a distance learning model. This includes K-12 academic support, ensuring digital connectivity and distribution of education materials and supplies to youth and families.
- Two BGCTC Club sites (Mt. Airy & Jerry Gamble) reopened for a summer session July 6 – August 14 with small-group, full-day in-person youth programming for grades K-5 members identified as high need for focused academic support.
- Five BGCTC Club sites (Jerry Gamble, Southside Village, Mt. Airy, East Side, and Al Lenzmeier West Side) reopened September 14 with small-group, full day in-person youth programming for both teen members and grades K-8 members identified as high need for focused academic support.
- Reopening our Richfield Clubs. Our Centennial Elementary Club reopened for in-person programming on March 1. The Richfield Middle School Club resumed in-person programming on Wednesdays beginning on February 24, before shifting to full in-person programming on April 8.
- Increased support for the 2021 Summer session. To combat the learning loss that school distance learning has created, we are planning on additional academic support as well as skill building for this summer, including focused STEAM enrichment opportunities.
Standing for Equity and Social Justice
In addition to COVID-19, our communities continue to experience the impact of the deaths of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, and so many others across the nation, as well as the resounding call for justice and an examination of how systemic racism has and continues to affect people of color in the United States. The work we do at the Clubs is part of the change that is needed in our country. BGCTC has always been at the forefront of change, and we are committed to providing our young people a platform where their voices can be heard and be part of the solution.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities stands for safety, dignity, and equitable opportunity, and we actively advocate against all forms of racism and discrimination. We aim to bridge the gap of social divide that permeates our nation, and violence has no place in our society or in our Clubs. The disparity and inequity brought to the surface by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing violence against BIPOC individuals and communities demonstrates that we must continue our work to bring full justice for all people in every situation. BGCTC will continue to support direct action and discourse that demands justice and an equitable society for ALL people.
Thank You to our COVID-19 Response Community Partners!
The generous contributions received from these partners are helping our organization address new and growing needs among our communities and expand services to families in this critical time.
- A1 Landscaping
- Asian Foods/Sysco
- Aspen Waste
- Best Buy Foundation
- Bobby & Steve’s Autoworld
- Capital Maintenance
- Concrete Coating
- Cub Foods
- Fixed Assets
- Fountain of Life Church – Minneapolis
- Grandma’s Bakery
- Harminder Mashiana
- Harry & Jan Sweere Foundation
- Harvard Maintenance
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Jerry & Diane Carlson
- Jim and Sue Franklin
- The Joel & Teresa Pfister Foundation
- Kowalski’s Markets
- MATTERbox Snack Packs
- McNeely Foundation
- The Minneapolis Foundation
- Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders and wife Hayley
- Minnesota Vikings and the Wilf Family
- Otto Bremer Trust
- Papa John’s Pizza
- Polaris Industries
- Pratt Industries & Minnesota Corrugated Box, Inc.
- Reinhart Foodservice
- Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
- Sonance Foundation
- Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
- Teamsters Local 320
- Teamsters Local 471
- Union Pacific Foundation
- US Foods
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