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Over 60 Years of Serving Our Community…
The Boys & Girls Club of Paterson and Passaic currently serves more than 1,100 children and teens per day in both Paterson and Passaic through academic, athletic and artistic programming both after school and during summer camp. The Club is grounded in the academic and interpersonal success of our students, ages 5-18. Every day, at two Clubhouses and ten satellite locations, every child completes their homework before accessing enrichment programs that range from STEM to Nutrition to Aquatics, creating a broad spectrum of learning opportunities. In addition, each day, a nutritious snack and meal are served to our Club Kids to ensure that they receive the “fuel” to keep them striving and thriving.
In 1963, business leaders associated with the Jay Cee’s concerned about the plight of inner-city children incorporate the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson. An abandoned fire house served as the first Boys Club in 1964. Within weeks of opening, staff stopped enrolling new members due to space limitations at the tiny clubhouse.
In 1967, after a $1,000,000 capital campaign, the Club moved to a new 38,000 square foot building on 21st Avenue, where it remains today. This facility features an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, games room, and class rooms situated on three floors.
Throughout the 1970’s the Club steadily grew its membership, serving more and more children in need of after-school programming. In 1988, the Club paid its mortgage and conducted a $500,000 renovation, making improvements that would accommodate girls.
The Club officially changed its name in 1991 to the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson, reflecting the coed programming that had been taking place for more than a decade.
A strategic plan, entitled 5,000 in Five, was announced in 1997. It called for an expansion of clubs into the schools and set a target of 5,000 members. By 2001, these goals were exceeded.
In 2003, the Club announced a new plan, one which offered four gifts to members; reading, technology, swimming, and the performing arts. It was at this time that the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson merged with the Boys & Girls Club of Passaic – one of the oldest Clubs in the nation.
As of March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson and Passaic stood strong with its community through challenging times, serving initially as an Emergency Food Distribution Center for 12 weeks, followed by a full day Summer Camp from July through August. During the 2020-2021 school year, the Club provided full-day educational support to children while the public school districts in Paterson and Passaic operated a virtual education model. The Clubhouses provided safe spaces for in-person and virtual childcare services from 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM daily to facilitate virtual learning, offered up to 2 meals daily, and provided a safe space to interact with peers. The Club’s caring staff and quality programs continued to reverse learning loss due to school closures, address food insecurity, and provided social-emotional support to navigate the complex issues of the pandemic.
Today, we stand as a place where diversity is celebrated, equity forms the foundation of our efforts, and community perspective and children and parents’ voice is included in all that we do. We continue to be a welcoming haven for thousands of children each day, a leader in youth services and a pillar of our communities, as we have been for over 60 years.