Health & Life Skills - Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County
Health & Life Skills
These programs develop young people’s capacity to engage in positive behaviors to nurture their well-being,
set personal goals and grow into self-sufficient adults.
SMART Moves® (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) is a prevention and education program that addresses the problems of drug and alcohol use and premature sexual activity. Based on proven techniques, 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.
Passport to Manhood® promotes and teaches responsibility while reinforcing positive behavior in male Club members ages 8 to 18. Passport to Manhood consists of 14 small-group sessions, each of which concentrates on a specific aspect of manhood through highly interactive activities. Each participant is issued his own "Passport" to underscore the idea that he is on a journey of maturation and personal growth.
An outgrowth of the popular and effective SMART Moves program, SMART Girls is a health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls ages 8 to 18. The program is designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable early adolescent girls to develop to their full potential.
Designed for ages 6 to 18, the Healthy Habits program aims to incorporate healthy living and active learning in every part of the Club experience, Healthy Habits, which is also the "Mind" component of Triple Play: A Game for the Mind, Body and Soul, emphasizes good nutrition, regular physical activity and improving overall well-being. This program is supported by funding from the William E. Simon Foundation.
Kitchen Kids gives members the opportunity to learn healthy, cooking skills (and eat their results).
Road safety is an issue of global concern. Each year, 1.3 million people are killed on roads around the world. In the United States, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers according to the World Health Organization.
Fortunately, many teenage motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road. To address this issue, UPS created UPS Road Code, a state-of-the-art interactive program that brings UPS's safe driving techniques and methods to young drivers around the world.
UPS volunteers present classroom instruction to young people ages 13-18 in areas including:
UPS driving "code" or habits, used by all UPS drivers;
Consequences of hazardous and distracted driving;
Identifying road hazards on an interactive computer-based game; and
Test driving skills on a virtual simulator.
The Street SMART initiative consists of three components designed to help young people ages 11 to 18 effectively resist gangs and violence, resolve conflicts, and be positive peer helpers in their communities. It also invites them to hold annual events that celebrate anti-gang, anti-violence themes.
The Street SMART initiative consists of three components designed to help young people ages 11 to 18 effectively resist gangs and violence, resolve conflicts, Date SMART is a supplement to SMART Girls and Passport to Manhood, and an exciting new resource for Club members ages 13 to 18. Through fun and easy-to-use sessions, members learn how to achieve mutually supportive relationships free of violence and abuse. The program also encourages youth to become community advocates for relationships that promote equality and respect while combating the attitudes and behaviors that lead to dating, sexual and domestic violence.
The types of community disadvantage that our cities face can have a profound negative impact on its children in the areas of health, learning, and safety. Compounding this is a low-income, urban setting where fast food is cheap and readily available, with few grocery stores and restaurants offering healthy foods. 75% of our members live in a single-parent home and 72% receive free or reduced lunch in school. Many Hudson County families struggle to put food on the table, gain steady employment, or afford key essentials. As such, our Kids Cafe' Healthy Meals program is one of the most essential components of these services provided to our members.
We provide nutritious meals to our youth each evening during the academic year, and breakfast, lunch and a snack during the summer months to ensure that no member who wishes to eat at the Club leaves hungry. Each day we serve meals to nearly 200 of our members totalling more than 52,000 meals served during the school year. Another 19,200 meals are served during the summer along with 11,200 snacks. In addition to meal service, we work to teach our members how to choose healthy foods when they are not at the Club and to make the connection between eating well and feeling well and healthy. We also aim to eliminate the anxiety that comes with never knowing where one’s next meal will come from. By removing this constant worry from the minds of our members, we can free them up to better apply their efforts in school and to be able to just be kids.
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