Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens

Location: Long Island City,

Created in 1955, the Club was established by a concerned group of citizens in Astoria and Long Island City who banded together in response to rising gang violence in their neighborhood. The founding committee partnered with community leaders to foster a safe and supportive alternative to the streets. While the Club has evolved over time to meet the changing needs of our community, its central purpose remains the same. The Club continues to uphold our founding mission:  To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as caring, productive, and responsible citizens.

The Club Today: The Club’s nearly 30,000 square foot facility is open to the community 7-days a week and includes an indoor swimming pool, makerspace lab, computer room, teaching kitchen, gym, auditorium, art, dance and film studios, as well as an outdoor playground. We specialize in providing children of all ages with the highest quality programming and pride ourselves in being the largest youth development organization in Western Queens, serving over 4,000 young people each year. Each and every day, we manifest our mission through the Club’s core program areas: Academic Enhancement, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Broadcasting, Healthy Living and the Arts. Our comprehensive range of programs are offered to all children (ages 5-18) including homework help, swimming and sports, coding, engineering, gourmet cooking, drama, dance, media production and so much more.

Today’s Boys & Girls Clubs of Queens is more than just a safe place. We provide a proactive alternative to school failure and the cycle of poverty that grips many of the families whose children we serve. The Club offers academic, nutritional, and civic programs that help children at every stage of development, including primary schoolers struggling with homework; teenagers making the difficult transition to adulthood and high school students facing choices about college and career.

Our impact extends to the families and communities of the children we serve. Our afterschool programs and nutritional dinners enable parents to work, knowing their children are in a safe and nurturing environment. VBGCQ is in a unique area of Queens; we are situated within one mile of four public housing communities. The largest of these communities is Queensbridge Houses (3,142 apartments) in Long Island City, which is the largest public housing development in the United States. A zip code analysis of our membership shows that 70% of our Club members live in one of these four public housing areas. The majority of the VBGCQ population is comprised of children from low-income families, who cannot afford the high cost of specialty after-school programs, like SAT Prep, drama, summer camp or basketball clinics.

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