The Katy and Fort Bend Family YMCAs each received a $5,000 grant from JCP Cares, JCPenney’s new charitable giving program, to provide school-aged children with financial assistance to attend afterschool programs at the Y. Specifically, the gifts are providing children at the Y afterschool programs at Stafford Elementary, Stafford, and Schmalz Elementary, Katy, with financial assistance to participate. The children that qualified for the assistance would not have been able to otherwise participate without the support of this grant. More importantly, it is providing the supported children 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 JCPenney. “We are firmly committed to organizations like the Y, which truly make a difference in their communities.”
The YMCA sees the benefits of this collaboration first-hand. “The support of JCPenney enhances our efforts to serve as many children as possible with meaningful, high-quality afterschool programming,” says Brian Haines, Katy YMCA District Executive. Eric Schenkelberg, Fort Bend YMCA District Executive, stated, “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.”
Collectively, the YMCAs of Greater Houston serve over 10,000 children per day in child care at more than 200 locations with 40% receiving financial assistance to participate. Locally, the Katy and Fort Bend YMCAs operate over 22 licensed afterschool programs in the Katy and Stafford school districts. For more information about the YMCA’s afterschool program, visit them on the web at (www.ymcahouston.org). To learn more about JCP Cares, JCPenney’s charitable giving program, go to (www.jcp.com).