main content starts here

Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited

About Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited

Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited (BOU) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes prevention education and safe, healthy activities for the youth in our community. Our ongoing purpose is to prevent drug and alcohol use and other risky behaviors among young people residing in the Town of Bethlehem or attending school in the Bethlehem Central School District. To help meet these goals, BOU awards grants for a wide variety of initiatives targeting students, parents, younger children and the community. BOU also collaborates with other organizations such as Student Senate and Bethlehem Parks and Recreation to promote healthy youth development. To learn more about BOU or join our Board, please contact the BOU Board ( Donations can be made by check payable to “BOU” and mailed to BOU, PO Box 492, Delmar NY 12054. BOU is a 501(c) (3) organization.

Talking With Your Teen: an event focusing on the Emotional Health and Wellbeing of Your TeenTalking With Your Teen: the Emotional Health and Wellbeing of Your Teen – Thursday, November 2nd

Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited is pleased to present another Talking with Your Teen event. This year’s event will be Thursday, November 2 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. Our focus this year is on the emotional health and wellbeing of your teen. This is a free educational event geared for 6th to 12th graders’ parents/guardians. 

BOU is pleased to feature our panel presenters:

  • Donna Bradbury
    MA, LMHC, Associate Commissioner, NYS Office of Mental Health
  • Jennifer Smitkin
    Psy.D, Owner, Psychology Wellness Practice, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist
  • Kristen Connor
    BCSD Supervisor K-12 Guidance and Counseling
  • A local pediatrician

Parents will gain an understanding of our district’s guidance and counseling department and the programs and services provided to our students. A local pediatrician will speak of the signals and symptoms to look for. Dr. Smitkin, a local psychologist, will speak about coping mechanisms, behavioral modification, what to expect if your child is in treatment and what therapy looks like, as well as actionable steps that a parent can take and tools for parents. We will conclude the forum with a big picture overview from Donna Bradbury of the NYS Office of Mental Health. There will be time for some questions at the end of the event.

We are asking that you complete this simple survey (2 questions!) so that we can get a sense of the topics and questions that would be of interest to you.

We will also have informational tables with staff from NYS Office of Mental Health and Mental Health Association of NYS, Inc.

BOU presents Bethlehem's 5th Annual Community Spelling BeeBOU 5th Annual Community Spelling Bee – Thursday, March 2nd

Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited (BOU) is pleased to invite you to join them for the 5th Annual Community Spelling Bee.

WHEN: Thursday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Bethlehem Central High School, Cafeteria 

** Please note that the printed district calendar lists 7 p.m. start time but our event begins at 6:30 p.m. **

Our snow date is on Saturday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m.  This is BOU’s biggest fundraiser of the year and supports its programs and grants.  Admission is free.

If you would like to form a team, please see our team registration form here [PDF]. If you would like to sponsor a team, please see our sponsorship form here [PDF].

Come out for the event!  Watch and cheer for your favorite team, test your spelling, enjoy refreshments and craft activities, and take a chance on awesome raffle baskets and a silent auction! Support your favorite team by buying a lifeline! There is fun for all ages.

There will be many teams for this friendly team competition to be the best speller in town. Come out and support teams from our schools and community groups as they vie for this year’s championship!

Lifelines may be purchased at the event for $10 per lifeline. This is a chance to help your favorite team. Give a team a chance to consult a dictionary or get help with a word stumper by phoning a friend!  Please get the lifeline form here [PDF], fill it out, and bring it to the event.

Be sure to bring your dollars and checkbooks to take a chance on many raffle items and our silent auction. See our Facebook page for pictures of all the wonderful items!

For questions, please contact  BEE there and BEE seen! Like us on Facebook or find us on Twitter.

Thank you for making the BOU 4th Annual Community Spelling Bee a success!


The 2016 BOU Spelling Bee winners, KT & The Doc Mamas. left to right: Katie Cultrara, Lisa Kamerling, Diane Tenenbaum.

On February 25, 2016, over 20 teams competed in BOU’s 4th Annual Community Spelling Bee fundraiser. We are pleased to announce that we raised over $6,000! Congratulations to our 2016 spelling bee winners KT & The Doc Mamas!

The BOU Annual Spelling Bee has quickly become a popular community event and drew approximately 250 people to BCHS.  All proceeds from the event are awarded by BOU to support BCSD programs such as Girls Night Out, Senior Celebration and 5th Grade Survivor Day. Funds raised are also used for BOU’s own events like Talking with your Teen, which is geared toward promoting the prevention of student drug and alcohol use.

The Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited board would like to thank the dozens of community organizations and businesses that made the evening such a huge success. See our list of sponsors here. 

View photos from the BOU Spelling Bee here.

Teams were made up of teachers, school administrators, town officials, local business people, as well as parents and students. The event also featured a very popular basket raffle with over forty themed baskets and a silent auction.  The Spelling Bee is BOU’s only major fundraiser held each year, with all proceeds being used to fund grants.

TalkingTeen2015Talking With Your Teen reaches more than 200 students!

Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited wants to thank the students, parents and community members who participated in our Talking with Your Teen presentation on November 12, 2015. We all learned a great deal from the various presenters. Hearing from Bryan, who had been addicted to drugs, was eye-opening and inspiring. Hearing from law enforcement and from staff in the drug awareness field was so useful to both students and parents alike. We want to share the presentations to serve as a refresher to those in attendance or for those families who were unable to attend our event. The school district and BOU are working together to be a resource for our school community. 

View presentations from Talking With Your Teen:


Grants & Activities

Anyone can apply for grant funding. Most applications are developed by parent organizations, collaborations of District staff, or community groups. Grant application forms can be obtained by clicking below. Submit completed grant applications to Applications are reviewed by the BOU Board for consistency with goals, cost-effectiveness, and available alternative funding.

Below are grants that were awarded in the 2014-2015 school year:

  • BC Physical Education Dept. Color Dash 5K
  • BCMS Costume Ball
  • Bethlehem Youth Court Training
  • BCHS Girls Night Out
  • BC Kids Vote Too
  • 5th Grade “Survivor” Day at Town Park
  • Bethlehem Senior Celebration

Supporting BOU, “Memo to School” Pads for Sale

“Memo to School Pads” are for sale for $3 in the main offices of all BC schools or at any BOU event. Individual donations, fundraising events and these sales benefit the BOU’s youth activities and prevention education programs. BOU_memo_to_school