The grant will be used to expand BGCA's Be There: A National Grief and Bereavement Initiative to ninety clubs over the next four years, enabling staff to recognize the signs of a grieving child or teen and equip them with the skills to support the emotional needs of youth facing adversity like loss of a loved one. Created by the National Alliance for Grieving Children, the initiative's curriculum model equips club staff with strategies to address grief and respond to more common social and emotional challenges, including betrayal of a friend and transitioning between grade levels. The grant also will enable BGCA to build the Ready, Set, Action program, a strength-based curriculum developed by the PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience that builds club members' competence and resilience.
"We are thrilled to build upon our longstanding partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of America by amplifying the Be There initiative and supporting the launch of the Ready, Set, Action program," said NYLF president Heather Nesle. "When bereaved children lack outlets to express their grief, they often keep their feelings inside, leading to a wide range of social-emotional issues. These new and expanded programs will offer a much-needed source of empathy, help, and guidance to grieving youth — including critical support from their peers."