ATLANTA, August 1, 2013 – Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) today launched its annual Tools for Back-to-School campaign by issuing a WAKE-UP CALL in New York City’s Foley Square. Supported by jcpenney, the event featured retired NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal and his mom, Lucille, both former Club members. Hundreds of Boys & Girls Club kids participated in an academic success obstacle course competition designed to motivate youth to succeed academically in school this year.
The purpose of the annual Tools for Back-to-School campaign is to educate the public about the role community-based Boys & Girls Clubs play in supporting academic success for youth during critical out-of-school hours. In many of the communities served by Clubs, child poverty rates are higher, graduation rates are lower and obstacles to academic success are all too common. Each year, Clubs help prepare nearly 2 million kids to succeed in school by providing homework help, tutoring and academic enrichment activities after school and during the summer.
“While more than 1 million American youth fail to graduate from high school each year, the truth is that many of them are falling behind before they even get started. They need basic supplies, like pens and notebooks, but they also need quality after-school programming to keep them on track for academic success and a great future. They need Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of BGCA. “The Tools for Back-to-School campaign is an opportunity to highlight our role in helping every child begin the new school year on the right foot.”
The campaign will generate school supplies for thousands of deserving Boys & Girls Club kids through a National Supply Drive. Now through September, the public can help by participating in an online supply drive by visiting www.greatfutures.org/backtoschool or going to participating retailers. Sponsored by Disney, the online supply drive is a fun, pop-quiz style game where right answers earn school supplies for Club youth. Member of the public can also donate school supplies in collection bins at local Michael’s, Staples or Disney Stores.
For over a century, Boys & Girls Clubs have provided kids with safe places and positive activities, helping them develop the creativity and confidence needed to succeed in school and life. BGCA’s vision is to ensure all young people reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens, and graduate from high school on time with a plan for the future.
For more information about how to support BGCA’s Tools for Back-to-School campaign this season, visit www.greatfutures.org/backtoschool.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of AmericaFor more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,000 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
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