$75,000 Contribution From AT&T to Help Boys and Girls Club of Chester Strengthen Students' Reading, Math Skills

Jan 21, 2010, 09:30 ET from AT&T Inc.

CHESTER, Pa., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- More children in the City of Chester will be able to take advantage of the Boys and Girls Club of Chester's (BGCC) year-round reading and math programs through a $75,000 contribution from AT&T.

J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Pennsylvania, today joined BGCC Board President Russell Williams, State Senator Dominic Pileggi, Chester Mayor Wendell N. Butler, Jr., and BGCC staff and friends to announce the contribution during an event at Chester City Hall.

The BGCC will use the AT&T contribution to expand its current year-round reading, math, and English program to help students improve their academic skills and perform at grade level. Expansion of this program will enable BGCC to serve more students, with the goal of improving academic performance by one to two grade levels by the conclusion of each year.

"The BGCC offers Chester's children many different opportunities to help them achieve their dreams," said Schweder. "This contribution will enable the center to help enrich the lives of more children and equip them with the skills they will need to excel in school, on the job, and in life."

BGCC will use the grant to hire and train additional tutors and staff in reading, math and English, and to purchase additional educational materials, including SAT preparation guides.  BGCC will also purchase updated computer equipment, software and curricular materials to provide access to current technology resources to enhance the academic programs.  The expanded program will be launched in BGCC's new facility, which is slated to open this spring.

"The Boys and Girls Club of Chester serves a vital need in our community," said Senator Pileggi. "This contribution will give BGCC the funding needed to expand an important program, which is helping many children improve in reading, math and English. Combined with the opening of the new facility, 2010 is shaping up to be a great year for the Boys and Girls Club."

Mayor Butler also highlighted the importance of the grant to Chester's youth.

"As a board member of the Chester Boys & Girls Club and Mayor of Chester, I want to thank AT&T for making this generous donation, which will directly benefit our youth and future generations to come," said Butler. "Not only will these young people have a brand new facility to enjoy that will be a safe haven, but also access to quality, educational programs and technology."

The programs developed will enable the students to improve their learning skills by working with tutors who are certified teachers. The students will also be able to use computers and learning software tools in a center equipped with scanners, printers and other technological devices. Each student will be assessed to determine his or her academic abilities and needs, and an individualized academic plan will be developed to improve the student's learning.  In addition, each teacher will receive training in the use of the new curricular materials, computer programs and features.  The technical resources will enable teachers to develop programs specific to each child.

"The goal of the program is to enable all students to improve their reading, math, and English skills so they can perform at grade level, succeed in school, and develop the skills that will prepare them for high school, post-secondary education, and the workforce," said Williams. "AT&T's contribution will help us achieve our goals – and help our children achieve success."

Since 1929, BGCC has been providing a wide variety of programming in a positive and safe environment to help Chester students learn and grow.  Programs include a year-round reading, math, and English tutoring program; year-round access to a computer lab with training and supervised access to the Internet; summer youth employment opportunities; year-round recreation facilities and sports activities; summer tours and day trips to museums and other cultural activities; arts and crafts activities; and career guidance and counseling.  The BGCC has been a consistent source of opportunities and encouragement for the youth of Chester.  

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. As part of this commitment, AT&T in 2008 launched Aspire, a $100 million high school success and workforce-readiness initiative. AT&T Aspire is one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to address high school success and workforce readiness.

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About Philanthropy at AT&T

For 25 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have been committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. As the AT&T Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2009, more than $160 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs in 2008 alone.

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