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Level is amazing! It's cool when the group is being respectful, we get more points, and earn the party in no time!

February 2021


A year ago, running youth programs while “social distancing” would have been uncharted territory. Today, after nearly a year of running all-day programming at sites, staff have found creative ways to adjust programs and ensure kids and teens can have fun while staying safe!

Tess Nobles (pictured above), Hidden Village Clubhouse Site Director, noticed members were having trouble adjusting to the new rules, so she created a new program, “Level Up,” to promote safety at her Club. “Level Up,” an incentive-based program, rewards member points for positive and productive behavior in five categories:

  1. Wearing masks correctly and social distancing
  2. Completing virtual learning without distractions
  3. Being on task when completing homework
  4. Participating in BGCB programs
  5. Respect/kindness/leadership

Tess, Program Director, with member.


“Teaching collaboration can be hard, but Level Up makes kids holding each other accountable fun and rewarding! It also prepares them for their futures and sets them up to make good decisions because they want to, not because someone is telling them to!” -Tess Nobles, Site Director


When each group secures 500 points, all Club members “Level Up!” and unlock a day filled with member-picked activities, including choosing their lunch and snack! This January, members “Leveled Up!” and celebrated with a PJ Day themed Club day where they made edible slime and played Gaga Ball!

Member doing art activity


In addition to innovative programs like “Level Up,” BGCB sites are taking extra precautions to monitor locations and reduce Covid-19 exposure. Each child is greeted at the front door by a staff prepared with forehead thermometers to check for fevers. Face coverings are required for all youth and staff, and handwashing occurs multiple times throughout the day.


“It’s been amazing to see our youth development staff pivot seamlessly to the COVID-19 rules, regulations, and program adjustments,” our CEO Tim Motts shared. “They’ve gone above and beyond to create safe environments for programming and have developed extremely creative ways to keep activities fun while adhering to social distancing guidelines.”

Part of the process has been lowering staff-to-child ratios, purchasing personal protective equipment, extending the Club hours, and enacting extra sanitizing and cleaning protocols, which are crucial in protecting both the youth and staff at the facility.

Since March, the Club has provided nearly 45 weeks of full-day programming, including summer camp and emergency childcare for essential workers and vulnerable children.

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