7:10 p.m. EDT, May 16, 2013
The Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center has received a $5,000 grant from jcp cares, JC Penney’s new charitable giving program, to provide school-aged children with financial assistance to attend afterschool programs at the Y. This gift provides children in Greater Hartford community, who otherwise could not afford to participate, with access to life-enriching afterschool programs that cultivate the values, relationships and skills kids need to thrive.
According to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization, 15.1 million U.S. children are left unsupervised after 3 p.m. during the school year. Studies show participation in afterschool programs helps boost school attendance and academic performance and reduces gaps in academic achievement among children from disadvantaged households.
“As a company founded on the Golden Rule, jcpenney has a strong legacy of giving back,” said Miki Woodard, president of JCP cares and vice president of philanthropy at JC Penney. “We are firmly committed to organizations like the Y, which truly make a difference in their communities.”
The Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center sees the benefits of this collaboration first-hand. “The support of JC Penney enhances our efforts to serve as many children as possible with meaningful, high-quality afterschool programming,” says Sonia Toledo, vice president of Youth Development. “By working together we can not only keep children safer, but also help provide them with lasting benefits, including healthier lifestyles, improved social skills and an enhanced academic performance.”
In the Greater Hartford community, the Y serves 1,403 children weekly in 42 pre-school and before-and-after school program sites. In Hartford, three before-and-after school sites serve 104 children weekly.
In addition to supporting local Ys’ afterschool programs, jcpenney, through JCP cares, has named the Y as its featured charity for the month of January. JC Penney team members will invite customers throughout the month of January to round up their purchases in stores to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to the Y. These resources will support the Y’s national commitment to closing the achievement gap through three key programs: early learning, afterschool and summer learning. JC Penney will feature the Y prominently on the company’s web site (www.jcp.com).
Copyright © 2013, The Hartford Courant
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