During the 2011 school year more area students will participate in after school programs offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica (SMBGC) thanks in part to an access grant made possible by JCPenney Afterschool.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs organization – in Santa Monica and nationally – has developed a strong relationship with JCPenney and this grant is just one example,” said Aaron Young, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica. “It is thanks to organizations like JCPenney that we can continue to provide kids with the support, inspiration and skills that will help them to realize their full potential as caring, responsible and productive citizens.”
The $7,500 local grant is part of a larger $5 million grant distribution benefiting 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 after-school services or are on the verge of withdrawing due to financial hardship.
“The support of our customers, associates and suppliers makes it possible for JCPenney Afterschool to provide our local youth with these opportunities,” said Matt Taylor, manager of JCPenney at Fox Hills Mall in Culver City. “Participating in an after-school program does far more than keep kids safe. It engages them in a positive learning environment that helps them reach their full potential in life.”
The $7,500 Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club received will provide the opportunity for 25 youths to “join the Santa Monica clubs” during the 2010-2011 school year (open to all SMBGC sites).
“The credits were given to families who otherwise would not have the opportunity to join,” Young said. “In addition, priority was placed on students struggling in school or with behavioral challenges that would benefit from SMBGC services.”
Funding supports more than 30 programs in the five core program areas (character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation and specialized initiatives.
“Grants like these are what keep our doors open to our 4,500 members, who come from all over the L.A. area. The annual membership fee for these kids to join the club is only $20; however, running our programs costs nearly $800 per kid per year,” Young said. “Grants like these allow us to keep our programs affordable for more kids in the community.”