Kids Upstate was originally founded as Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Spartanburg in 1988 by community leaders concerned about the workforce. A Board of Directors quickly adopted a comprehensive approach to operate youth programs in existing facilities. Spartanburg District 7 first welcomed Clubs into their schools, and an outcome-focus soon led to expansion of Clubs and Smart (homework) Centers operating in all seven Spartanburg Districts.
In 2006, the Spartanburg organization merged with Boys & Girls Club of Cherokee County to form Boys & Girls Clubs of the Upstate, now Kids Upstate. Today, the organization operates Clubs in three Spartanburg Districts and Cherokee County schools.