Grant is part of Wal-Mart Foundation’s larger $2.3 million commitment to adolescent literacy
ATLANTA, March 26, 2008 – Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) announced today receipt of a $1.2 million grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation. Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast and long-time Boys & Girls Clubs of America supporter Dominique Dawes joined in the ceremony and played literacy games with local children at the Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta. The grant, part of the Wal-Mart Foundation’s larger $2.3 million commitment to adolescent literacy this year, will support BGCA’s “Power Hour” tutoring programs nationwide.
“We are proud to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support Power Hour and help strengthen one of the most widely used programs at Clubs,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “Reading is a basic skill that allows students to advance in all other academic areas. This grant will help children have an equal chance at learning.”
According to the Educational Testing Service, the 25 fastest-growing professions in the U.S have far greater than average literacy demands, which require millions of students to master the basics of reading in order to be competitive.
Even though more than 8 million students in grades four through 12 read below grade level, statistics show that an unwavering commitment and an investment in literacy can help struggling readers catch up and build the foundation they need to succeed in school and the workforce.
“Power Hour is a critical program that not only increases learning opportunities, it helps ensure our youth are better prepared for today’s world,” said Cyndi Court, senior vice president, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We are grateful to Wal-Mart for the funds and help that will enable us to continue to fulfill our promise of providing hope and opportunity to all youth.”
The Power Hour” program engages Club staff, volunteers and members in homework assistance offered during after-school hours for children ages 6 to 18, is designed to motivate and improve students’ homework skills, and to encourage them to feel good about their accomplishments.
“Education is the foundation of greatness and as an avid supporter of youth reaching their full potential, I am proud to stand with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Wal-Mart Foundation in support of literacy,” said Dominique Dawes, an Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast.
In addition to today’s $1.2 million grant, all 78 Wal-Mart stores and supercenters grand opening in the month of March will present their local Boys and Girls Clubs and other organizations targeting increased adolescent literacy rates with a $5,000 grant to further help increase the literacy rate in communities across the country.
In the upcoming year, the Wal-Mart Foundation has identified philanthropic opportunities in the areas of education, job skills training, sustainability, and health and human services to be top priorities for funding. In support of education and job skills training, the Wal-Mart Foundation has given approximately $16 million to fund programs that will be rolled out in the first quarter 2008. These programs will provide opportunities for school age children and individuals up to 24-years-old to develop literacy skills, complete or pursue educational degrees and learn critical job skills.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of more than 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities, with 4.8 million youth served through Club membership and community outreach, in all 50 states and on U.S. military bases worldwide. Known as “The Positive Place for Kids,” the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize leadership development, education and career exploration, financial literacy, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation, and family outreach. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and its foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the company supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education, job skills training, sustainability, and health and human services. In 2007, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartstores.com/community.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Wal-Mart serves more than 176 million customers weekly in 14 markets. The company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. For more information: www.walmartfacts.com.