Lower East Side residents know all too well the challenges facing neighborhood youngsters. The Boys & Girls Republic (BGR) has been addressing those challenges with engaging, innovative programs since 1932.
The most unique element of BGR is its self-government model, which enables young people to take an active role in shaping their "society." All BGR participants become "citizens" of the "Republic," running for office, voting for elected officials and keeping order in their community. The program has 14 elected officials, including a mayor, city clerk, judge, prosecuting attorney, comptroller and eight council members. BGR legislation is voted on at council meetings and "citizens" who break the rules are prosecuted at court trials.
All BGR programming is designed to enhance each child's academic progress, social development and emotional well-being.
BGR offers after-school activities for young people in kindergarten through eigth grade, Monday through Friday. BGR staff picks up students from most local elementary schools.
BGR's after-school program provides a safe, structured and nurturing environment that supports and enhances academic success, giving students opportunities to explore and discover themselves and their surroundings, and increases self-esteem. Offerings include homework help and tutoring, computer learning, sports and recreation, arts education, and self-government and youth leadership activities. Fridays are extremely dynamic at BGR, with Citizen's Choice and Self-Government Committees offering everything from community service projects to bake sales, field trips, tournaments and contests. (Read more on our after-school program page.)
For more information, contact Kathryn Keith at 212.686.8888..
The evening program offers many activities — including basketball, flag football, a game room, cooking and tutoring — to young people ages 14-19 and runs Monday through Saturday, from 6 to 9 p.m
BGR is also a model site of the PAL/ProHoops training camp, which offers comprehensive basketball clinics designed to develop skill, endurance and confidence on the court. The clinics take place on Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. 15 & Under and 19 & Under Basketball Leagues run Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays year round. Open gym for both age groups is offered on Mondays and Wednesdays.
BGR hosts HSE (formerly GED) classes, in conjunction with the Settlement's Workforce Development Center. Students prepare to test in math, reading, writing and social studies to earn the high school equivalency degree. For more information, please call 212.478.5400 x217. Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Interested students should contact our Workforce Development Center at 212.478.5400 x 217
Summer Camp Services
In July and August, BGR hosts a day camp on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. See our summer camp services page for further details.