Parents: After-School Programs

Frequently Asked Questions:
Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF)

What is Boston Centers for Youth and Families?
On July 1, 2002 Mayor Thomas M. Menino streamlined many of the city’s youth and human services functions by creating the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), a consolidation of Boston Community Centers, the Boston 2:00 to 6:00 After-School Initiative, the Mayor’s Office of Community Partnerships, and the Recreation Division of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Its mission is to enhance and improve the level of services to Boston families. The new department is housed at 1483 Tremont Street in Mission Hill, under the direction of Juanita B. Wade, Executive Director and Chief of Human Services.

I heard that Boston Community Centers no longer exists, does that mean that my neighborhood community center has changed?
No, your neighborhood community center has not been affected.

I used to contact the Office of Community Partnerships about funding opportunities, such as, the Safe Neighborhood Youth Fund, Boston Cultural Agenda Fund and the Come Out & Play Fund, who do I contact now?
Contact Cuong Hoang at 617-635-2258 or visit the Funding Opportunities and Resources section of the Boston Centers for Youth & Families Web site.

What happened to the Office of Community Partnerships?
The Office of Community Partnerships is now part of Boston Centers for Youth & Families.

I used to go to the Parks and Recreation Department for athletics? Where do I go now?
The Recreation portion of the Parks and Recreation Department is now part Boston Centers for Youth & Families. Boston Centers for Youth & Families offers a wide range of athletics for all ages. To find a specific athletic or sports activity, go to www.cityofboston.gov/bcyf/enrichment.asp and search under recreation and enrichment – you’ll find everything from basketball leagues to yoga classes.

My child needs extra help with his/her schoolwork. Do you have any tutoring programs?
There are after-school tutoring programs for elementary through high school students at community centers throughout the city. Many of the programs have been noted for their success in improving students’ test scores and school performance. To locate a program near you, go to www.cityofboston.gov/bcyf/search.asp and search for a tutoring program.

Can community center space be rented for meetings and events? Who do I contact?
Many community centers rent their facilities out for meetings and events. Contact your neighborhood community center to get more information about fees and availability.

I’m concerned about youth hanging out on the streets in my neighborhood – can BCYF help?
Boston Centers for Youth & Families has many youth programs that provide fun and safe alternatives to hanging out on the streets. Contact Chris Byner, BCYF Youth Unit Manager, at 617-635-4920 to discuss outreach to youth in your neighborhood.

I would like BCYF to come to my community event – whom do I contact?
If you would like Boston Centers for Youth & Families to attend your community event, contact Sandy Holden at 617-635-4920 x2213 or .

Are community centers open during school vacations?
Community Centers are open during the summer and during school vacations. Many provide special school vacation activities and camps. Call your neighborhood community center for a complete schedule.

Does BCYF have any indoor tennis courts?
The Stillman Tennis Center, part of Charlestown Community Centers, is the City’s only indoor and seasonally open-air tennis facility. Its three tennis courts are available for open court play as well as instruction. For more information contact the Charlestown Community Center at 617-635-5173.

How can I be added to your mailing list?
If you would like to be added to the Boston Centers for Youth & Families mailing list, contact Sandy Holden at 617-4920 or .

How do I sign my child up for a child care or after-school program?
Call the Boston Centers for Youth & Families Administrative Offices at 617-635-4920 and ask to speak with the Unit Manager for the program in which you are interested.

Can special needs children, youth and teens participate in BCYF programs?
All BCYF facilities and pools are fully accessible. BCYF encourages and welcomes everyone to participate in its programs and activities.

I would like to volunteer my time and skills to a community center, how can I get involved?
Go to www.cityofboston.gov/bcyf/volunteer.asp to find out more about volunteer opportunities at Boston Centers for Youth & Families or call the BCYF Administrative Offices at 617-635-4920.

I heard that community centers provide free meals for children and seniors – how do you sign up for this?
Almost all neighborhood community centers provide a free, walk-in breakfast and lunch to youth 18 and under during the summer through the school department. Contact Boston Public Schools at 617-635-9000 for more information about free summer meals.
Many community centers also offer a free senior lunch program. Call your local community center for details.

Do you have to be a resident of Boston to join a community center?
No, you do not have to be a resident of Boston to join a community center, however some community centers charge an additional fee for non-residents.

What are Boston Community Learning Centers?
The Boston Community Learning Centers (BCLC) are sited at 28 Boston Public School Buildings in Allston/Brighton, Chinatown, Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, South Boston and the South End. Each BCLC site supports family, school and community connections, through collaborations and partnerships. The goal of the BCLC is to provide comprehensive school-based services and supports that include academic, health, recreational and social services to young people, their families and neighborhood residents.

I would like to join my neighborhood community center. Who do I contact?
Call or visit your local community center to become a member. Membership fees, hours, program schedules, as well as directions can be accessed for your community center by going to www.cityofboston.gov/bcyf/search.asp.

© Copyright 2003 City of Boston. All rights reserved. For additional questions, contact BCYF by e-mail at , or call during normal business hours at 617-635-4920.