2020 Healthy Kids Coalition Fund
Legal-name: Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach
Address: 3635 Long Beach Blvd
City: Long Beach
Officer-title: Chief Executive Officer
Mission: The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Grantpurpose: We are requesting support from the Healthy Kids Coalition to empower young people to make informed decisions about their physical, mental, and social well-being and lead healthier lives through our Triple Play Program.
What-is-project: Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach (BGCLB) seeks support for our Triple Play program. According to the Center of Disease Control, obesity prevalence was 18.9% among youth aged 2-19 years in the lowest income group and 19.9% among those in the middle-income group. With 90% of our Club member population considered living at or below the poverty line and 8% not currently have a home (living in a shelter, family or friend’s residence, or hotel), BGCLB’s health and wellness programs are vital to the lives of our young people.
Our Triple Play program provides the following for our over 3,500 Club members annually:
• Dinners and snacks (all ages, provided daily): 90% of our members are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. We provide substantive and nutritious snacks and dinner thanks to our partnership with Empower4Life and Caterina’s Club. During the summer months, we expand our food provisions to include breakfast and lunch. As 90% of our Club population qualify for free or reduced lunches at school, the meal our Clubs provide each day tends to be the only hot meal they receive outside of the school.
• Sports & Recreation (all ages, components offered regularly and throughout the year): Developed at the national level, members participate daily in sports and fitness to increase the time they spend engaged in heart-healthy games and recreation. Structured basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, baseball, and flag football teams compete within the Club and in inter-Club tournaments.
• Healthy Habits (all ages, components offered regularly and throughout the year) Programming provides informational and experiential learning activities to encourage healthy eating habits. It teaches the food pyramid, portion size, smart snacking, food labels, hunger cues, how to put a meal together, and eating away from home.
Also provided is a Triple Play Parents Game Plan. It is vital that families apply their knowledge about nutrition not just at the Clubs, but also at home, where healthy habits start, are modeled, and reinforced. This component is also available in Spanish.
The vast majority of our Club population is low-income and over 80% represent minority races or ethnicities. Compounding these issues, our youth face other significant obstacles, which may include housing instability (8% are not considered to have a stable home — living in a shelter, family or friend’s residence, or hotel), health issues, challenges at home, and language barriers.
The additional challenges low-income youth are facing regarding their health has been exacerbated due to the COVID-19 crisis. Children are stuck at home with no required physical activity and families are struggling to put healthy food on the table. BGCLB’s mission has continued through this crisis and expanded to ensure our Club members’ basic needs are fully met through virtual programming filled with fitness activities and cooking classes, along with weekly grab & go healthy dinners for their families.
How-will-you-succeed: Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach’s Triple Play program focuses on the mind, body, and soul of each Club member to ensure they have the needed knowledge and skills to be healthy now and as an adult. The Triple Play program is successful when we are able to accomplish the following each year:
• Build awareness of eating a variety of nutritious foods
• Increase belief in importance of maintaining health and wellness
• Increase overall feelings of well-being
• Increase likelihood of making healthy and smart food choices
• Increase time each day members participate in physical activities
• Increase members’ knowledge of physical fitness
• Knowledge that physical fitness is an essential part of life
• Supporting changes in behavior that will last a lifetime
• Increase members’ ability to interact positively with all youth and adults and engage in healthy relationships
• Increase number of youth/existing members participating in program
Although many youth participate to some degree in sports and fitness activities, they are not always physically fit – and they often lack the basic knowledge they need to make positive food choices. For the majority of our Club members, the food they are served at the Clubs is the only meal they receive outside of school provided nutrition. As we uphold the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach, we provide the necessary knowledge and necessary basic needs for our most at risk youth to thrive.
Who-are-you: Founded in 1939, the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as caring, responsible and productive citizens. To accomplish this, we provide programs in the areas of arts and culture, sports and recreation, academic development and tutoring, career guidance and youth employment preparation, college readiness and post-secondary planning, and mentoring and leadership development.
BGCLB impacts over 3,500 of the most underserved and at-risk youth, ages 6-18, through its 11 Club sites around Long Beach each year. Club sites are located in some of the most dangerous areas of Long Beach to better serve those in the most need. Over 95% of the young members at Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach represent minority races or ethnicities (African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, two or more races) and 90% live in poverty and qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch programs. Club programs and staff are mostly funded by grants and community support, so we are able to only charge the nominal fee of $15 a year for membership and no child is turned away for inability to pay.