Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y Clubs
The Hi-Y and the Tri-Hi-Y clubs were a part of the YMCA program that had been active with youths since the 1850s. The term Hi-Y was first used in 1927. Hi-Y stands for "High School YMCA" and were for boys only. The Tri-Hi-Y clubs were later formed for girls. The purpose of the Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y clubs were to:
"Create, Maintain, and Extend to the fullest capacity of one’s ability, throughout the home, school and community, High Standards of Moral Character through improvement, brother/sisterhood, equality, and service in High Schools."
By participating in the yearly Older Boys Conference and the Older Girls Conference, students were exposed to higher educational opportunities since the conferences took place on the campus of African American Colleges and at the YMCA offices in various cities.
At the state meeting of the YMCA of Georgia the efficiency rating of all the student chapters, regardless of race, were released together. The scoring was based on a Ten Point Efficiency Standard in following ten categories.
- Attendance Program Planning Conference
- Discussional Bible Study
- School Wide Service activities
- Community Wide Service Tasks
- Reports to the State office and Bulletins
- Helping State Extension Fund
- Public Meeting with & presentation
- Organizing New Club
- State Wide Bible Study Project
- Attendance Christian Life Conference
In the 1936-1937 school year, Ballard clubs were the only "Colored" school to place in class A. The scores were Hi-Y: 209%, Alpha Tri-Hi-Y: 180%, and Beta Tri-Hi-Y: 175%. By 1940, the Ballard's clubs placed in the following order: Alpha Tri-Hi-Y: 332%, Hi-Y: 260%, and Beta Tri-Hi-Y: 259%.
The three Ballard clubs were involved in the formation of other Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y clubs around the state. County administrators from Emanuel, Jefferson, Macon, Peach, Putnam, Sumter, and Washington County school systems asked for Ballard’s assistance in setting up their own clubs. A number of the requestors were Ballard Alumni. Other joint activities included collecting and organizing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the needy, collecting toys, and firewood for families in need. The clubs were also responsible for escorting guests around the campus.
Ballard Hi-Y Club
The Hi-Y club held monthly member meeting and invited the members in good standing from Hudson High School, Beta Etta school to attend. They planned picnics as well as an annual dance on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Jointly all three groups would collect and organize Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the needy, collect toys, and firewood for families in need. The club members were also responsible for escorting guests around the school.
Ballard Alpha Tri-Hi-Y and Beta Tri-Hi-Y Clubs
The original Tri-Hi-Y club were so popular that a second club Tri-Hi-Y was formed in 1933. So Ballard had the Alpha Tri-Hi-Y and the Beta Tri-Hi-Y clubs. The triangle is the symbol for the Tri-Y meaning Body, Mind, and Spirit.
The Tri-Hi-Y girls held chapel exercises with a program of music and song presented to the student body and faculty. Members of the Tri-Hi-Y from Hudson High and Beda Etta schools were invited and accepted into full membership with the Ballard Tri-Hi-Y. Mother-daughter banquets were held at the end of the school year.
The Alpha Tri-Hi-Y Club carried items to the hospital to amuse and comfort the paralytic children. Books were collected and sent to the students of the Open Air School.
In April 1940 the State Council of Young Men’s Christian Association of Georgia invited the Beta Tri-Hi-Y Girls to attend the Negro Girls’ Conference to be held at the Georgia Normal and Agricultural College, Albany during the weekend of April 20th-28th.
By 1941, the Beta Tri-Hi-Y club was tied with another club as the highest ranking in Georgia. Among the activities that earned them the ranking included: Carrying reading material to the Charles A. Young Soldier Center, the Rendition of a program at the old folks' home, sponsoring a Go-To Sunday School Campaign, "adoption of an unfortunate girl", and carrying fruit to St. Luke Hospital.