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Youth groups get Hasbro grants

May 6, 2012

PAWTUCKET — More than 800 children in Rhode Island, including those served by Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, Progreso Latino Inc. in Central Falls, and Woonsocket's Connecting for Children and Families, will benefit from a $200,000 grant provided by Pawtucket-based Hasbro Inc.
To stem the loss of learning that takes place in school age children during the summer vacation months, Hasbro, Inc. and United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) have established the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative for children across Rhode Island.
The $200,000 grant from the Hasbro Children's Fund will help UWRI launch this initiative across 11 existing summer programs throughout Rhode Island. These programs will provide children with the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning and service learning projects so they are prepared to embrace and excel when they return to school in September.
The 2012 Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative grantees are:
• Progreso Latino, Inc., Central Falls.
• CampXL, Cranston.
• Newport Partnership for Families Educational Success Committee, Newport.
• Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, Pawtucket.
• The SPIRIT Education Program, Pawtucket.
• Providence YMCA Youth Services, Providence.
• Kent County YMCA, West Warwick.
• Westerly Public Schools BASE Program.
• Kids Klub, Woonsocket.
• Connecting for Children and Families, Woonsocket.
• NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley/RiverzEdge Arts Project/Woonsocket Public Schools, Woonsocket.
Studies confirm that, on average, students lose the equivalent of more than two months of math skills during the summer. Those in low-income communities fall behind in reading an average of two months, while their middle-income peers make slight gains.
“Summer learning loss is having a direct, negative impact on our children's academic performance during the school year,” said Anthony Maione, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island. “Thanks to Hasbro's generous support, we are able to establish the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative so that Rhode Island children will not only have a fun and educational summer but they will be better prepared for school in the fall.”
In 2005, Hasbro's support helped create the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative in partnership with United Way of Pioneer Valley to help children in the Springfield, Mass. area begin their school years ready to excel and thrive. Today, UWRI and Hasbro are taking the best practices and lessons from that award winning program and others to do the same for children in the Ocean State.
“Hasbro is excited to partner with the United Way of Rhode Island to help children in the state begin each school year sprinting forward, not catching up,” said Karen Davis, vice president of community relations at Hasbro, Inc. “We have seen firsthand how effective a high quality summer program, that includes not only learning but service and fun, can be in helping children excel.”
In order to qualify for funding from the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative each program must be a full day, six week long program incorporating literacy and math development skills, hands on engaging learning, serving elementary or middle school youth. In addition, each grantee will also form a generationOn Club to engage its students in service learning projects. Recognizing the ability of all kids to change the world and themselves through service, Hasbro helped to launch generationOn, the global youth service movement in 2010 as a part of the Points of Light's youth service enterprise.
UWRI will allocate the $200,000 in funding amongst eleven existing summer learning programs throughout the state. The Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance (RIASPA), UWRI's education initiative, will provide subject matter expertise and technical support to these eleven programs.

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