Skip to Main Content

Enhancing a Life - Starts Here!

Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia offers results-based, proven and nationally recognized programs in five Program Areas that closely align with the developmental needs of all young people.

These programs would not be possible without the support of donors like you!

Click on a program area, below, to learn more about how you can fuel opportunity for Columbia youth.

Summer Program

Students lose an average of two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer. Low-income students lose more than two months in reading achievement. There’s a gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students that is explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.

Through the BGCC Summer Program, youth maintain their reading and math skill levels. Some Club members even experience gains in learning – especially in vital 21st-century skills such as teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

High-quality educational enrichment programming is an important part of helping youth prepare for a great future and does not happen by accident.

Support Summer Programming and together, we will create the summer experiences needed to overcome summer learning loss and provide hands-on, interactive opportunities for youth!


While many variables influence a young person’s academic success, two critical areas of focus for Boys & Girls Clubs are a love of learning and engagement with education. When youth love to learn and feel truly engaged in their own educations, they are more likely to experience academic success.

As the leading nonprofit out-of-school-time provider within this community, BGCC is well-positioned to ensure young people achieve academic success.

With your support, we will create a rich Club Experience where all youth are effective, engaged, adaptive learners who are on track to graduate with a plan for the future.

Health & Wellness

With the continuing rise in national childhood obesity rates, due mainly to sedentary lifestyles and improper nutrition, there has also been an increase in type 2 diabetes along with other chronic health conditions, among youth. The Surgeon General has not only declared childhood obesity an epidemic but has linked this trend to a lack of physical activity and proper nutrition for youth. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that 61.5% of children aged 9-13 do not participate in organized physical activity during out-of-school time, and nearly 23% do not engage in any physical activity during free time, demonstrating a lack of intrinsic motivation among youth to develop and maintain sustainable healthy habits.

Supporting healthy lifestyles require leveraging every moment, every staff member, and every space in the Club to support, educate, and model healthful living. Of course, healthy eating, physical activity, and general healthy lifestyle development is only part of overall wellness. At BGCC, we strive to create safe, positive, and healthy environments for young people to develop meaningful relationships, learn critical skills, increase access to healthier food options, develop the desire to make healthy choices, and ultimately reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens.

With your support, we can create a safe space in this community where all youth learn, grow, and thrive.

Sports & Recreation

Extracurricular activities and organized sports leagues are unattainable for many families. Due to high cost and limited spots on elite travel teams, sedentary behaviors are increasing in the U.S. among children and youth today.

Our approach is to develop and promote healthy and active lifestyles among Club members by increasing confidence in their ability to play sports or enjoy healthy activities; their ability to achieve foundational movement skills and overall fitness to participate in a variety of games and activities; and their intrinsic motivation to be physically active. This is achieved through early positive experiences that are fun and motivate youth to do their best.

Healthy recreational activities help to develop social and emotional skills to help youth build healthy relationships with themselves and others, recognize and manage emotions, and solve problems. Studies show that people who develop healthy and adaptive social-emotional skills during childhood are more likely to make positive decisions and drive positive behavioral outcomes.

A few of our favorite recreational activities include: hiking, dancing, fishing, cheering, mini-golf, and swimming. New this year, is a How to Ride a Bicycle program including a bicycle safety course thanks to the generous Cummins Sales and Service team!

Support safe and healthy recreational activities for youth throughout Columbia!

Art & Expression

With your help, we stand ready to provide enriching experiences and exposure opportunities to build essential social-emotional and Arts-specific skills to enhance youths' adaptability and resiliency.

Research shows involvement in the Arts fuels cognitive, social, and emotional development. Engagement in the Arts also promotes positive outcomes such as increases in high school academic performance, college-going rates, college grades and employment retention. Despite clear evidence that Arts education leads to positive outcomes, many young people, and particularly those from under-resourced communities, grow up without exposure to the Arts. Even fewer of these youth receive artistic training. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 50% of the poorest elementary schools don’t even have an Art classroom. By expanding Arts programming and experiences in our Club, we will support more equitable opportunities for the youth we serve to use their imaginations, explore their creativity, and find their voice through self-expression.

Support Great Futures in Mid-Missouri!


We are thankful for our local funding partners!