Multi-year Grant Has Significant Impact
“It is all about putting smiles on the faces of hundreds of kids in our community”
With the support of a grant from the Community Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston & Area provides transportation for children and youth from across the city to the Club’s after-school programs, field trips, camps, sports league, and HelenTufts Nursery School. Beginning in 2010-11, a five year $20,000 Community Grant funded by the Alcan Endowment has supported the operational costs of their transportation program.
This funding has had a major impact, according to Tony Gargaro, Director of Operations for the Club: “I really want to thank the Community Foundation and Alcan for giving us the confidence and support 5 years ago to go out and purchase a 24 passenger bus to break down those barriers that many of our children face who come to our programs, and we couldn’t have (done) it without them.”
Over 65,000 children and youth riders have used the service over the duration of this five-year grant. The program allows those without transportation to access the Boys and Girls Club programs. According to Gargaro, in the 2014/15 school year the bus picked up over 10,000 riders for after school programs from 8 different schools. In addition, children and youth were provided transportation for other activites, bringing the total annual ridership to almost 16,000. The bus operates with a driver and support staff who provide supervision and support to children during transportation.
“The Boys and Girls Club of Kingston was thrilled to part of this initiative, which helped young people get to our programs, be active, develop healthy eating habits, improve academic performance and develop confidence and life skills. As recognized leaders in after-school programming, we applaud the Foundation’s approach to this important issue of transportation as a barrier to participation and we look forward to working with them to deliver the highest quality after-school programs to children who need them most. It is all about putting smiles on the faces of hundreds of kids in our community” says Harold Parsons, the Club’s Executive Director.
The Foundation is proud to have played a significant role in enabling this program. Their bus can be seen around town – and we are proud that it bears the Foundation’s logo!