From JCPenney, big dollars for students

Continuing its decade long commitment to afterschool programs in the area, the JCPenney Afterschool Fund has awarded a $5,000 grant to the East Boston YMCA’s Afterschool School Age Child Care Program (SACC). The grant will give the Y’s afterschool program at the Curtis Guild School the opportunity to help more children participate in safe, life-enriching afterschool programs this school year.

This grant is one of 287 grants being awarded by JCPenney Afterschool SACC to YMCAs around the country. It is designed to help Ys provide financial assistance to students (grades K-12) who otherwise could not afford to participate in afterschool programs.

“JCPenney is firmly committed to supporting youth-serving organizations, like the Y, that are dedicated to providing positive, meaningful programs during the crucial hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., when studies show that a quarter of America’s children are unsupervised after school,” said Jodi Gibson, community relations director for JCPenney and president of the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. “By collaborating with the Y, we can ensure that more children have access to afterschool programs that inspire them to be smart, strong and socially responsible.”

Today, with thousands of afterschool programs across the country, the East Boston Y and YMCAs around the nation are a leading resource for parents seeking a safe, enriching place for their children to go after school. YMCA afterschool programs focus on the holistic development of youth, which include elements that promote health and well-being, social skill development, emotional development, creativity, character development, sports and service.

In Eastie, the Y serves 242 children in after-school programs at seven different locations in the community.

“The Y is dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility,” said East Boston Y’s Executive Director Joey Cuzzi, . “This generous support from JCPenney Afterschool strengthens our efforts and gives local parents peace of mind, and their children a place to learn, grow and thrive.”

In addition to awarding afterschool access grants, JCPenney Afterschool has implemented Round-Up fundraising events and a JCPcares social media campaign to raise awareness and resources in support of afterschool programs 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 history 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 non-profit organization. For over a decade, 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.

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