Our Story

History

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland (BGCC) is the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), which began as the Boys Club in Hartford, Connecticut in 1860. After that, the Boys Club movement quickly spread throughout the United States.

In 1954, the first Boys Club opened in Cleveland in the Slavic Village neighborhood on Broadway Avenue.  It was established by a group of corporate executives from Republic Steel (ArcelorMittal) and Cliffs Natural Resources.  The second Cleveland Club opened in the Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood in 1972.

In 1976, the Boys Clubs of Cleveland began to accept girls as members and became the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. This progressive step occurred a full 14 years before the national organization became the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

In 1985, we opened our third Club, the West Side Club, followed by the King Kennedy Club in 1992 and the Heights Youth Club in 2007. In 2009, BGCC expanded into Cleveland schools and currently has sites in Charles Eliot, Walton, Bella Academy, Imagine Cleveland, Citizen Leadership Academy, Michael R. White. 

In 2013 we opened our six and seventh Clubs, Saint Luke’s Manor Club, Franklin D. Roosevelt Club followed by our eighth in 2014, East Cleveland Club.

 

Today

BGCC proudly serves  over 8,000 children in seven free-standing Club sites as well as six school sites and one other site in Cleveland. We exist so that we can provide children who are most in need a safe place to grow, learn and realize their full potential - because they will become tomorrow’s parents, workforce and leaders. With a wide range of programs, we support healthy lifestyles, academic success, character-building and leadership development.

Our professional staff and dedicated volunteers are expertly trained to be strong role models and are committed to helping children move forward as well-rounded, confident, contributing citizens.

We are the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland. . . life-changing, life-enhancing, life empowering. . . a place of hope, promise and opportunity.