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Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield

Health & Wellness Programming

Our Health & Life Skills programs are designed to inspire our members to engage in positive behaviors that nurture well-being, providing them with effective tools and knowledge to achieve personal goals and live successfully as self-sufficient citizens. Opportunities for all members include participating in cooking demonstrations, gardening, fitness demonstrations, mentoring sessions, guided discussions, self-esteem and self-respect exercises, meditation, hands-on group activities, and building skills for eating right, staying physically fit, developing positive relationships and improving overall well-being. 

Programs:

- SMART Moves: Healthy Habits
- Healthy Lifestyles
- Positive Sprouts
- SMART Girls
- Wise Guys
- 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go!
- Back to Basics
- Tower Garden

Smart Moves

The Boys & Girls Club SMART (Skilled Mastery and Resilience Training) Moves program was able to teach our Club members about self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, and provide members the knowledge and skillset to avoid peer pressure, all in a comfortable, safe, and judgment free environment. Each lesson provided interactive, hands on demonstrations, role plays, open discussion and powerful activities that enabled each member to absorb important life skills through doing, while having a fun time with peers. Our SMART Moves program positively impacted over 250 participants. Upon the completion of the program, the Club held a SMART Moves Graduation, where members received a certificate of completion, and discussed what knowledge and skills they had gained from participating in the program.

Wise Guys

In 2017, our Club was one of five to had been selected as a grant recipient through a partnership between the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Connecticut Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. Through this partnership, our Club was able to identify and train many of our male members as Peer Mentors (ages 13-17) to educate their peers on healthy masculinity and dating violence prevention. Teen Mentors participated in focus groups, attended a three-hour training and developed a plan to train our younger male members on through our Passport to Manhood program. In addition, our Teen Mentors and additional graduates of the program were given the opportunity to showcase their work at an Engaging Men and Boys Conference that was held in Connecticut in 2018. 

Over the past 3 years our male targeted programming has continued to grow using resources not only provided through BGCA, but have adopted resources and trainings from various nationally recognized organizations that are currently leading the national movement exposing toxic masculinity as a national problem, and taking the lead on educating our countries male population on the best healthy masculinity practices, intimate partner violence, as well as how to form/identify the characteristics of both healthy and unhealthy relationships.

We have found many successes in the few years that we have implemented our male focused programming. Specifically, in our Passport to Manhood program, we have seen the participation jump from a targeted population of 10 middle school males our first year to over 20 active participants in the last few years. With the continued growth of the program, we have also started a great mentoring program, as graduates of the Passport to Manhood program return to help lead the program activities and lessons. 

Smart Girls

The SMART (Skilled Mastery and Resilience Training) Girls, program was designed to allow members to tackle tough topics in a comfortable setting. SMART Girls focused on different topics each week, including Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem, Fitness and Nutrition, Self-Respect, Respect for Others and Proper Etiquette. Each lesson was designed to educate the members, while including fun, interactive, hands-on activities, ranging from smoothies, a guided meditation demo, and guest speakers, to various fitness demos, open conversations with staff members, and field trips to nutritional stores. At the end of the program, our SMART Girls graduates participated in an etiquette luncheon.  They put their SMART Girls skills to the test, while celebrating their accomplishments and successful completion of the program. 

Smart Moves: Back to Basics

Back to Basics is a 3 part, health and life skills program that educates children through adolescence, teaching them about wellness and social-emotional well-being through nutrition, yoga and guided medication, cooking programs, gardening, and interactive and enlightening group discussions. In a world of technology, it is so important to connect children and teens to the beauty and benefits of living simply, along with providing them with all of the resources necessary to empower their young minds and allow them to realize their full potential. Recognizing the need for an effective and influential program that would provide the tools necessary to teach valuable life skills and lessons, our Club created Back to Basics, which generates a lasting impact through hands-on learning instead of lecturing. 

In the Fall, members participate in weekly cooking demonstrations and educational lessons, teaching members essential life skills. Members develop positive attitudes and behaviors about nutrition and fitness, while increasing both their knowledge about and consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Each lesson includes hands-on food demonstrations, both on-site and off-cite. Members help prepare everything from breakfasts and snacks to pressed juices, stir fry vegetables, fruit smoothies, and more. With support from local businesses, the Club is being provided with the organic whole foods necessary for each lesson.

In the winter, Back to Basics focuses on mental health and wellness. We discuss the effects of stress on the body, the importance of self-esteem and respect of self and others, the topic of family and friends, and good character and citizenship, through fun, interactive and impactful lessons/projects. We start each session with an unwinding circle for members to relieve and discuss any stress they may need to let out. Along with this, we also incorporate simple, children’s yoga for members to stretch, breath and slow down before the lesson begins. Each lesson ends with a guided meditation exercise. Local business professionals are also invited to educate members and introduce them to new opportunities and skill sets. Professionals include: Yoga Instructors, Kickboxing Instructors, Nutritionists, Child Phycologists, School Counselors, and Life Coaches.

In the spring and summer, members participate in hands-on learning experiences working in our Club’s garden. Members are given the opportunity to plant their own seeds, and learn the health benefits behind growing and eating organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. Members learn the importance of being responsible and taking care of their plants, along with gaining a true appreciation and feeling of accomplishment as they witness the plants grow and flourish as a result of their hard work. We partner with local farms and Master Gardeners to enhance our programming and instruction.

In forming partnerships with local businesses and organizations, our Back to Basics program was able to extend beyond the walls of the Club. For example:

RVNA: their Registered Dietitians created and implemented delicious cooking lessons that covered the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, alternatives to consuming sugary, unhealthy snacks, ingredient substitutions, and provided members with effective and fun physical fitness activities. RVNA hosted members and supplied all the ingredients needed.

Nature’s Temptations and Simpaug Farms: donate weekly food supplies, and host Club members for a Healthy Habits seminar, which includes an educational nutritional lesson, a taste testing of organic treats and smoothies, and a tour of their farm. Simpaug Farms also donated weekly CSA Shares of extra vegetables and fruits.

Horseshoe Farms, Ridgefield Hardware and Veronica’s Garden: donate all of the seeds, soil and supplies for our Club garden, and the owners of these farms visit our Club’s garden and work directly with our members to prepare the garden beds and plant the seeds.

Community Business Professionals and School Educators: implement lessons that introduce and teach members about their profession and skill set

Positive Sprouts

The Boys & Girls Club’s Healthy Habits program, Positive Sprouts, provided members with hands-on learning experiences working in our Club’s garden. Upon the start of the program, members were given the opportunity to plant their own seeds, and learn the health benefits behind growing and eating organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. Members learned the importance of being responsible and taking care of their plants, along with gaining a true appreciation and feeling of accomplishment as they witnessed the plants grow and flourish, as a result of their hard work. 

Through the success of our garden, Club members were not only taught the importance of proper nutrition and the benefits of eating organic, fresh foods, but they were also able to learn how to cook nutritious meals and snacks, participating in various food demonstrations, using the food they grew.  The Positive Sprouts program positively impacted over 150 participants.

Contact

Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield

41 Governor Street 
Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 203-438-8821

Contact Us

Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield

41 Governor Street 
Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 203-438-8821

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