The Rapidian

JCPenney awards $7,500 grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids

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BGC Girls Basketball team, part of the afterschool programming at the Clubs.

BGC Girls Basketball team, part of the afterschool programming at the Clubs. /Sara Schneider

During the 2010-2011 school year, more Grand Rapids students will be participating in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth­­­­ afterschool program thanks in part to an access grant made possible by JCPenney Afterschool. The $7500 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 Gary Leathers, manager of JCPenney at Woodland Mall. “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.
About JCPenney’s Commitment to Afterschool
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 Full data from the 2009 America After 3PM report is available at

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