Marks largest charitable donation from Wal-Mart Foundation to an organization in Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kansas, May 28, 2008 – Wal-Mart Foundation today announced a $700,000 donation to the University of Kansas (KU) with an event at the Wal-Mart Store located at 3300 Iowa Street. The donation will be used to create a curriculum that will enhance Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) proven homework tutorial program “Power Hour.”
“We are honored to make this donation to the University of Kansas to support BGCA’s free, after-school reading and tutoring programs in more than 4,000 communities across America,” said Kelvin Lynch, Regional General Manager of Wal-Mart. “This donation will enhance an already powerful program that enriches the lives and learning experience of young people across the country.”
This is the largest donation an organization within the state of Kansas has received from the Wal-Mart Foundation. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius participated in the celebration along with Wal-Mart Regional General Manager Kelvin Lynch, Director of the Center for Research on Learning Don Deshler, Boys & Girls Clubs of America Regional Director of Development Jenny Lewis and members from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lawrence.
“This is a significant donation to be made in the state of Kansas. The ‘Power Hour’ program ensures that children in Kansas and around the country are better prepared for their futures,” said Governor Kathleen Sebelius. “On behalf of Kansas, I want to say thank you to Wal-Mart for this considerable donation.”
The “Power Hour” program engages Club staff, volunteers and members in homework assistance offered during after-school hours for children ages 6 to 18. It is designed to motivate and improve students’ homework skills, and to encourage them to feel good about their accomplishments.
With this donation, the University of Kansas will create a curriculum to improve the level of training for Club staff and volunteers, equipping them with the necessary tutorial skills to help students successfully complete their homework, while understanding the importance of literacy.
“We are excited by this opportunity to extend the success we have had working with struggling adolescent learners to support the efforts of Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the country,” said Don Deshler, Director of the Center for Research on Learning and Gene A. Budig Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. “High-quality after-school programs, such as ‘Power Hour,’ are critical to bridging the gap between students’ academic skills and the expectations they face in the classroom.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s President and CEO Roxanne Spillett continued, “This generous donation from Wal-Mart is going to help us close the achievement gap between the haves and have-nots by tackling adolescent illiteracy. After all, children must learn to read because for the rest of their lives they must read to learn.”
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This donation supports a $1.2 million Wal-Mart Foundation grant given to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Atlanta, GA in March. That donation went to the Power Hour homework tutorial program to help improve adolescent literacy.
About the University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university that serves as a center for learning, scholarship, and creative endeavor with nearly 30,000 students. A member of prestigious Association of American Universities, KU offers the highest-quality undergraduate, professional, and graduate programs as well as outstanding libraries, teaching museums, and information technology at its main campus in Lawrence, medical campuses in Kansas City and Wichita and its adult education centers in Overland Park and Topeka. Cited as one of 20 universities and colleges nationwide that create an effective learning environment for students to succeed in their college careers, the university has 44 nationally ranked academic programs. KU completed the 2007-2008 academic year with championships in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the Orange Bowl, the national intercollegiate writing competition, national criminal procedure law tournament, among others, and No. 1 rankings in special education, debate and city management and urban policy.
About the Center for Research on Learning
The Center for Research on Learning is an internationally recognized research and development organization noted for creating solutions that dramatically improve the quality of life, learning, and performance of individuals, especially those who experience barriers to success. The Center has completed in excess of $160 million worth of contracted research resulting in products and programs that have made a difference in the lives of thousands of struggling learners. The Center studies problems in education and works to place solutions that make a difference into the hands of educators, learners, employers, and policy makers.
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.