Funding To Help Engage More Youth in Positive Afterschool Programs
During the 2010-2011 school year, more Porter County students will be able to participate in the after school programs and services of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County thanks in part to an access grant made possible by JCPenney Afterschool. The $7,500 local grant is part of a larger $5 million grant distribution benefitting the YMCA of the USA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National 4-H and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Through these organizations, JCPenney is assisting families with children who are currently not enrolled in afterschool services or are on the verge of withdrawing due to financial hardship.
“It is through the support of our customers, associates and suppliers that make it possible for JCPenney Afterschool to provide our local youth with these opportunities,” said Sandy Zimmerman, manager of JCPenney at Valparaiso. “Participating in an afterschool program not only keeps kids safe, it engages them in a positive learning environment that helps them reach their full potential in life.”
The timing of the grants coincides with results from a national study that sought to ascertain how America’s children are spending their time after school. According to the America After 3PM report released by the Afterschool Alliance in conjunction with JCPenney Afterschool, reveals that one out of every four children in America is on their own between 3 to 6 p.m. each school day. The report shows that a vast majority of parents seek the resources to engage their kids with adult role models who help foster their social, physical and academic development. JCPenney’s continuing support of the afterschool cause is helping to build the national afterschool infrastructure so that program participation can be possible in every JCPenney community.
As a leading corporate advocate for the afterschool issue, JCPenney works with afterschool organizations to increase the accessibility and affordability of afterschool programs across the country. Through its legacy of supporting youth and charitable organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Y, National 4-H, United Way and FIRST, JCPenney formalized its commitment to the afterschool issue by establishing the JCPenney Afterschool Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since its inception, more than $100 million has been distributed to afterschool programs across every JCPenney community thereby making it possible for more children to participate in life-enriching programs that inspire them to be smart, strong and socially responsible. For more information, visit www.jcpenneyafterschool.org. Full data from the 2009 America After 3PM report is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.
The Boys & Girls Club of Porter County provides children ages 5 to 18 with quality programming emphasizing character and leadership, education and career development; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach.
The club operates facilities in Valparaiso, South Haven, Duneland and Portage. For more information on membership, volunteer opportunities or to make a tax deductible donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, please contact your local Club or call (219) 464-7282 or visit www.bgcpoco.org.