July 1, 2010 – The Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse has received a $10,000 grant to launch a new reading initiative that promotes both educational and leisure reading for adolescents. The Walmart Foundation’s Bright Spot for Reading initiative for adolescent readers will help create a reading center, provide training for staff and encourage relationships to ensure the success of young members. Nationally, the Walmart Foundation awarded Boys & Girls Clubs of America with $1.5 million to help establish reading Bright Spots at 100 Clubs across the US. Beginning July 1, 2010, the Bright Spot Reading Center will feature books geared at youth ages 11 to 15 and will include programming to encourage adolescents to read more and develop a more positive attitude toward reading. Programming will include activities in drama, art and technology; field trips to Seabreeze Amusement Park and service learning projects in order to create reading opportunities in every area of the Club. Bright Spot Reading Center will open Monday- Friday from 9am –10am for about 45 Club member ages 6 to 15 to tack part in the reading “Summer Reading Challenge”. The TWEEN program will be running “READ TO ME ” program the where TWEEN members will be reading to young members to show how cool it is to read. The TWEEN have also partnered up with the Robert P. Kinchen Central Library in The galleries of Syracuse for the THEATRE CLUB every Friday”The Walmart Foundation’s Bright Spot for Reading Initiative is essential in preparing youth for academic and life success,” continued Duane Kinnon, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse, “We are grateful to The Walmart Foundation for the opportunity to create an environment that will encourage and allow our youth to enjoy and develop an affinity for reading.”In addition to the Club’s new Bright Spot Reading Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s teen web site www.myclubmylife.com will serve as a resource for the Club to promote the reading initiative; highlight age-appropriate books and book reviews; and encourage teens and tweens to read more and share their reading experiences with others. Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse will also strengthen existing and develop new relationships with local libraries to enhance its programs and services.Located at 2100 East Fayette Street Syracuse, N.Y., East Fayette Street Boys & Girls Club provides program opportunities for 45 boys and girls each year. The Club is open Monday thru Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm. Youngsters interested in joining the Club, learning more about The Walmart Foundation Bright Spot for Reading Initiative or other youth programs can contact Kenyata Calloway at East Fayette Street Boys & Girls Club, (315) 472-6727 or visit www.bgcsyracuse.org.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has enabled young people, especially those who need Clubs most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve more than 4.2 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

For more information, contact Kirby Dar Dar at (315) 472-6727 or kdardar@bgcsyracuse.org.