Boys & Girls Clubs: SMART MOVES

SMART Moves is an age-specific, progressive, nationally-recognized program focused on providing youth with resistance training in the areas of substance abuse, violence, peer pressure, bullying and other dangerous behaviors. This program focuses on providing young people from Kansas City's urban core with access to safe, secure, positive environments on a daily basis as well as ongoing educational programming to keep youth engaged in beneficial, healthy activities. 

SMART Moves has been cited in Creating a Drug Free America: Programs that Work as “one of the very few programs in the country that offer excellent prevention teaching combined with challenging supervised activities.” The program has been listed as one of 10 exemplary primary prevention programs by the U.S. Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, and the National Prevention Network.

This program has two components: a Positive Action curriculum, which has significant focus on opioid resistance and education, and a full new set of curricula for all SMART Moves components, which address issues at the forefront for our youth, including vaping and increased social media focus.

SMART Moves is based on a resistance-training-social-skills model and is updated annually to incorporate new best practice techniques and influence other aspects of our overall Whole Child programming model. For instance, in the past three years, we have connected middle school participants in this program into another coinciding component called Be Great: Graduate. This component is based on Check & Connect, an evidence-based program appearing in the U.S. Department of Education's “What Works Clearinghouse” of effective educational interventions. Introducing this component of our programming has provided all of our middle and high school aged members with weekly case management interactions with Club staff. These ongoing check-ins include not only updates on academic progress but also other issues members are having in their lives. This interaction continues to be a meaningful support to our overall programming and especially our SMART Moves focus.

The SMART Moves program, while facilitated by Club staff, also directly engages peer leaders, parents and community volunteers. The program introduces members to practical skills and resistance techniques through direct discussion and role-playing, practicing resistance and refusal skills, developing assertiveness, strengthening decision-making skills, and analyzing and responding appropriately to media and peer influence. SMART Moves provides significant information on relevant topics to youth and assists in promoting dialogue among youth participants.

We continue to grow and freshen this program to keep it relevant. We have broadened the bullying prevention component of the program, introducing more depth and attention to cyber-bullying and incorporating technology into all aspects of the program. For instance, media influence changes rapidly and our program changes and adapts with technology. No longer is television the medium of mass media influence. This program now focuses on the influence of social media platforms and how members can make smart decisions related to ever-evolving technologies. Additionally, we have incorporated Trauma Smart acrosss our organization which provides in depth behavioral health support.

We also continue to grow our youth police initiative which works with cohorts of teens and police officers ongoing throughout the year.


Click on the window icon (upper right corner) of the map below to expand. List of all program locations is included with expanded view of map. Locations are also listed on this page below the map.

816-462-0134 •

2023 COMBAT Funding:

2023 Service Projection:
1,736 People

Areas Of Focus

Thornberry Unit, 3831 E 43rd St, Kansas City, MO 64130

Wagner Unit, 2405 Elmwood Ave, Kansas City, MO 64127

Independence Unit, 315 N Leslie Ave, Independence, MO 64050

Hawthorne Unit, 16995 E Dover Ln, Independence, MO 64056