Programs in this area 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. These initiatives help youth achieve and maintain healthy, active lifestyles.
The SMART Moves (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) prevention/education program addresses problems such as drug and alcohol use and premature sexual activity. The program uses a team approach involving Club staff, peer leaders, parents and community representatives. More than simply emphasizing a “Say No” message, the program teaches young people ages 6 to15 how to say no by involving them in discussion and role-playing, practicing resistance and refusal skills, developing assertiveness, strengthening decision-making skills and analyzing media and peer influence. The ultimate goal: to promote abstinence from substance abuse and adolescent sexual involvement through the practice of responsible behavior. The program’s components are SMART Kids for ages 6 – 9 ; Start SMART for ages 10 – 12; Stay SMART for ages 13 – 15; and SMART Parents; SMART Leaders, a peer leader/booster program for older teens; and F.A.N. Club (Family Advocacy Network).
SMART Girls is a small group health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program designed to meet the developmental needs of girls ages 8 – 12 and 13 – 17. Through dynamic sessions, highly participatory activities, field trips and mentoring opportunities with adult women, Club girls explore their own and societal attitudes and values as they build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, good health care and developing positive relationships with peers and adults.
Why SMART Girls is Needed
Studies show that while girls and boys experience a decrease in self-esteem during the junior high and high school years, girls’ self-esteem tends to drop more over time. The key years before and during adolescence are critical in girls’ development, since many carry behaviors and beliefs from this time into adulthood. While Boys & Girls Clubs should strive to serve all members equally, there is no doubt that girls and boys also benefit from some gender-specific programming. Check out these startling trends among girls in the United States: The average age range when girls develop eating disorders has declined from 13 to 17 to 9 to 12. By age 14, girls are twice as likely to suffer from depression as boys. In 2004, more girls than boys started using alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana. Each year, 38 percent of date rapes are reported by girls between the ages of 14 and 17. Although the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is declining, it continues to be the highest in the Western industrialized world.
How the Program Helps Girls
SMART Girls features modules for ages 8 to 12 and 13 to 17. Each module contains two components. In ìItís Your Body,î Club members examine the physical and emotional developments that occur during adolescence, media influence on attitudes and behaviors toward females, development of personal values in dating relationships, sexually transmitted diseases, and eating disorders.
The second component, “Take Care of Your Body,” focuses on girls’ specific nutritional needs. It provides Club members with basic cooking skills, ways to ensure physical fitness and exposure to community agencies that deal with female health issues.
Contact Stacey Chapman at 707-542-3249 for more information.
Passport to Manhood
Passport to Manhood promotes and teaches responsibility in Club boys ages 11 – 14. Passport to Manhood consists of 14 sessions, each of which concentrates on a specific aspect of manhood through highly interactive activities. Each Club participant receives his own “passport” to underscore the notion that he is on a personal journey of maturation and growth.
Contact us at 707-542-3249 for more information.