The City of Birmingham Mayor's Office-Division of Youth Services continues to develop programs for the betterment of Birmingham's youth. Below is a list of some of the programs and services that we offer. For more specific details, call 205-320-0879.
The City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services continues to develop programs for the betterment of Birmingham’s youth. Below is a list of some of the programs and services currently offered to residents. For more specific details, call (205) 320-0879.
Athletics & Recreation
Summer Enrichment Camp
DYS partners with various camp sites to offer constructive summer activities for elementary and middle school-aged youth who live in the City of Birmingham. Camp activities are age-appropriate and are designed to promote peer interaction, while offering a safe and fun environment. Announcements about opportunities are distributed via email to our Youth First Virtual Network. If you are not part of the Youth First Virtual Network, send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added.
Youth First Sports Network
The Youth First Sports Network is a collaborative effort between community-based sports organizations and DYS. The goal of the partnership is to serve notice to the public about sports programs and events that are accessible to Birmingham youth. Join the Youth First Sports Network today!
Youth First Summer Sports Series
Each summer, DYS hosts its Youth First Summer Sports Series which includes All-Star Football Camps, Soccer Camp, and Golf clinic. Youth are taught the fundamentals of each sport, as well as, different exercises and drills to improve performance. DYS partners with various professional athletes and their foundations to lead the camps.
Cultural Sampling Tours
The Youth First Cultural Sampling Tour is a joint venture between DYS, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the Birmingham Cultural Alliance Partnership. Tours expose youth and their families to various cultural amenities available throughout the city. The tours are FREE and transportation is provided.
DYS 411 Crew
Our youth face many challenges that may cause them to react negatively to instances of violence and/or peer pressure. DYS’ 411 Crew uses a “dramatic” approach to show youth how to apply positive choices to difficult situations. To find out how you can have the DYS 411 Crew perform at your school, church, or youth organization, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
They’re not puppets! They’re not Muppets! They’re Wazzupets! The Wazzupets are an extension of the 411 Crew. These tiny characters help to teach smaller children how to apply positive choices to difficult situations. Contact DYS to find out how you can have The Wazzupets come to your church, school or youth organization to perform.
Youth First S.T.A.R. Power
Hollywood stars celebrate Birmingham stars at Youth First S.T.A.R. Power. In 2011, Birmingham youth earned a pass to join Cassie Davis, star of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and her special guests, China Ann McClain, star of A.N.T. Farm, Lauryn McClain, Sierra McClain, and Gabriel McClain, stars of Daddy’s Little Girls in a special meet & greet. To participate, students showed their S.T.A.R. Power in the areas of SERVICE, TEAMWORK, ATHLETICS, and RESPECT.
Kiddie Club is an initiative to provide targeted programming for Birmingham’s younger citizens, focusing on youth ages 2 to 10 years old. Kiddie Clubbers receive age appropriate activities, recognition for achievements, and participate in quarterly cultural outings. The 2014 theme is “Explore Birmingham”
Interested in having your child participate in the Division of Youth Services’ Kiddie Club? Download the application and return to DYS.
2014 Kiddie Club Form
Bridging the Gap: Conversations with Living History
Each year, DYS celebrates Black History Month with Bridging the Gap: Conversations in Living History. Bridging the Gap allows Birmingham residents to hear living legends as they share details about their historic contributions to the City of Birmingham. Guests are treated to oral presentations and take part in up close & personal chats with the living legends of their choice.
Operation Straight A’s
The Operation Straight A’s program recognizes Birmingham youth for academic achievement, perfect attendance, and good conduct while in school. Participation criteria (must meet one of the criteria) (1) Increased a letter grade in 2 core academic subjects, (2) Perfect attendance and good conduct grade for the most recent grading period, or (3) Maintained a “C” average or above for two consecutive grading periods. Students are rewarded with a private screening of a current motion picture. Past films have included: HOP and Happy Feet 2. For more information about the Operation Straight A’s program, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
In an effort to encourage a love of reading among Birmingham’s youngest citizens, DYS hosts Wee READ annually. Wee READ is a free event for K4 to 5th grade students. Youth interact with local authors and participate in fun activities that encourage reading. This event is held during March in celebration of the national “Read Across America” initiative.
Faith in our Future
Our city is filled with faith-based organizations that provide a variety of positive outlets for youth. Organizations that are recognized for their exemplary efforts receive an award from DYS.
Hidden Heroes Awards
DYS highlights individuals who are working hard to increase opportunities and improve the quality of life for Birmingham’s youth. Each quarter, DYS honors Hidden Heroes with an award during a luncheon held in their honor.
Give-2-Get Incentive Program
The Youth First Give-2-Get Incentive Program promotes community service while offering great incentives to youth who are giving back. Birmingham youth between the ages 6 and 17 years old are invited to participate in the program. For more information, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879
Step in the Name of Love Extravaganza
Step in the Name of Love Extravaganza is the annual benefit step show that kicks-off DYS’ holiday initiatives. Step teams from churches, schools, and Greek organizations perform at the event to help DYS collect food and gifts for less fortunate Birmingham youth and their families.
Youth First Holiday Campaign
The act of giving is important throughout the year, but giving peaks in significance during the holiday season. To help create happy holiday memories for hundreds of less fortunate Birmingham youth, the City of Birmingham’s Division of Youth Services (DYS) created the Youth First Holiday Campaign. DYS’ Youth First Holiday Campaign assists needy Birmingham youth who live in low to moderately-low income households, shelters, and residential living facilities by providing food for Thanksgiving and toys for Christmas.
Equal Access Network
Equal Access is an information-sharing effort that targets youth who reside in communities managed by the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District. The initiative encourages involvement in programs and events facilitated by DYS and other local youth service providers.
Harvest Festival is a safe and fun alternative to Halloween for all Birmingham youth ages 2 to 10 years old. There are games, face painting, rides, the DYS Fun House, foodand much more at this fall frenzy. This event is FREE and youth are encouraged to wear costumes.
Programs That Work
DYS highlights grassroots, community-based programs that are making a tangible difference in the lives of Birmingham’s youth. If you know of a great 501 © (3), youth-related program that deserves public recognition, we invite you to nominate that program for our Programs That Work Award. Contact DYS at (205) 320-0879 to nominate today.
Health & Wellness
Take a Child to the Doctor Day
Each fall, DYS partners with the healthcare community to provide FREE screenings for uninsured and underinsured Birmingham youth. Attendees are also treated to healthy snacks and beverages, education on living a healthier lifestyle, and take part in interactive games that encourage movement and exercise. Services are provided by medical staff from Children’s of Alabama and UAB Healthy Systems – Department of Pediatrics. Doctor Day is like going to the doctor in the middle of a carnival!
Youth First NObesity Expo
In an effort to combat childhood obesity, each year DYS and the Junior League of Birmingham team up to host the YOUTH FIRST NOBESITY EXPO + 5K FOR KIDS at historic Legion Field. The Youth First NObesity Expo is a FREE community-wide festival where the young and young at heart can take part in health screenings, kids fun zone, games, a 1-mile fun run for kids, and much more! To learn how you can participate in the Youth First NObesity Expo, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
He’s First is for young men and their adult male mentors. The initiative is comprised of two components: (1) The He’s First Summit Series is designed to be informative and enlightening and features special breakout sessions that cover topics that are sensitive to young men; (2) Boys 2 MENtor is entertaining and engaging and guests participate in activities like the Wii Challenge, rock wall climbing, basketball, chess, and more.
She’s First is for young ladies and their adult female mentors. The initiative is comprised of two components: (1) The She’s First Summit Series is designed to be informative and enlightening and features special breakout sessions that cover topics that are sensitive to young women; (2) She’s First: The SHEquel is entertaining and engaging and features fun activities like facials, manicures, arts & crafts, line dancing, and more.
A.C.E. (Another Caring Example) Mentoring Program
A.C.E. is a direct serve mentoring program through DYS for Birmingham boys and girls ages 8-17 years old. This is a great opportunity for youth to participate in a program that focuses on developing adolescents socially and emotionally. The program is designed to provide and equip Birmingham’s youth with another caring example to inspire them to become the aces (leaders) of tomorrow. For more information about the A.C.E. Mentoring Program, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
FREEality Check is designed to expose students headed down the wrong path to the realities of incarceration by touring detention centers and correctional facilities. This up-close-and-personal experience gives troubled youth and their parents the wake-up call needed to stress the benefits of staying FREE from a life behind bars. For more information about the FREEality Check Program, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
Youth First Breakfast Club
YFBC is a mentoring program for 6th and 7th grade students in Birmingham City Schools. This is a great opportunity for students to participate in a program that focuses on developing adolescents socially and emotionally. Weekly sessions include topics such as Career Planning, Healthy Living, and Decision Making. To learn how you can have Breakfast Club at your school, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
Caught Doing Good!
If you’re going to get caught, get caught doing good! Birmingham is filled with youth who are doing good deeds. Caught Doing Good spies from the City of Birmingham’s Division of Youth Services and the Birmingham Police Department are out to catch them in act. For more information about Caught Doing Good, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
Birmingham Young Advisory Commission (BYAC)
BYAC is for college students and young professionals ages 19-25 years old who would like to represent the voice of the youth in matters that directly impact their future. Participation criteria are available through the DYS office.
Kids & Jobs Program
Each spring, Birmingham youth are invited to apply for age-appropriate employment opportunities through the Kids & Jobs Program. DYS and Fox 6 put hundreds of Birmingham youth to work each summer through the Kids & Jobs Internship Draft, 14 & 15 Year-Old Program, and the Summer Executive Internship (SEI) Program. Kids & Jobs is designed to help cultivate the professional development necessary for youth and young adults to become an integral part of the workforce. For details on how to request an application, call DYS at (205) 320-0879.
KNOWBULL, An Anti-Bullying Initiative
Preventing bullying is a collaborative effort involving students, parents, teachers, and the community. In an effort to combat bullying in Birmingham, the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services (DYS) 411 Crew presents THE KNOWBULL TOUR, an anti-bullying campaign.
The 411 Crew, DYS' traveling performance troupe, uses a "dramatic" approach to show youth how to apply positive choices to difficult situations. At each stop on the tour, attendees will be entertained, educated, and empowered on how to take "u" out of bullying. Fill out the registration form to request that your organization become a stop on the KNOWBULL tour.Click here for Application
Youth Advisory Council (YAC)
DYS is encouraging youth 10-18 years old to get involved with YAC. Youth who have ideas that they believe can make Birmingham a better place to live, are encouraged to contact DYS to learn about membership opportunities. For more information, contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
For Youth By Youth (FYBY)
Youth in our city have fresh, innovative ideas. Unfortunately, the great young minds that hold Birmingham’s future do not often have the opportunity to see their visions brought to fruition. To give local youth a chance to turn their innovative dreams into tangible realities, DYS created the FYBY initiative. FYBY participants are selected through a competitive process. Those selected are given an opportunity to develop and facilitate their vision using DYS resources. Interested in submitting an idea? Contact DYS at (205) 320-0879.
For information on other city-sponsored youth initiatives,
visit www.birminghamal.gov, or feel free to contact the following:
Birmingham Park & Recreation Board - 254-2391
Birmingham Police Department Youth Services Division - 324-8439
Birmingham Department of Community Development - 254-2309
back to top