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Jessica Erickson AT&T Wisconsin 608-692-5340 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org Jessica Hopp Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay 920-494-7090 ext. 1015 email@example.com
Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay to Help More Teens Graduate High School with $154,000 Aspire Contribution from AT&T
Green Bay Club is Only Wisconsin Organization Among 47 Recipients Nationwide to Share in $10 Million to Help Stem the High School Dropout Crisis
GREEN BAY, WI, Thursday, August 30, 2012 — The Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay was presented with a $154,000 AT&T Aspire contribution today to help the Club expand its successful graduation initiative and help more teens graduate high school. The funding will enable the Club to expand its BE GREAT: Graduate program to an additional 40 new high school students in grades 9 and 10 who will receive weekly academic support over the next two years. In total, the program will help 100 Green Bay teens remain engaged in school, succeed academically, and graduate high school. ―Too many of our students drop out of high school, especially those from low-income families,‖ said John Benberg, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay. ―We are committed to reversing this trend, and through our graduation program, we’ve been able to help 60 Green Bay teens stay in school and move forward with their class. We are excited to work with AT&T to expand this successful program to even more teens.‖ The Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay is the only organization in Wisconsin among 47 recipients nationwide that will share in nearly $10 million from AT&T. The AT&T Aspire program is focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. The BE GREAT: Graduate program pairs at-risk youth with positive adult Graduation Coaches who provide a persistent source of motivation about the importance of education for future success. Weekly one-on-one interactions with Graduation Coaches build students’ confidence that they can succeed academically.
The program, which began in 2010, uses an evidence-based educational intervention called the ―Check & Connect‖ model to increase the odds of graduation for youth who are disengaged and at risk of dropout. Each week, Graduation Coaches ―check‖ school performance data and then ―connect‖ with students to provide timely interventions that address obstacles and celebrate successes. Since it began, 80% of participants have increased or maintained grades in reading, while 70% have increased or maintained math grades. The program also focuses on improving students’ classroom behavior and social skills, with 50% of participants seeing a decrease in school behavior referrals. ―My Graduation Coach helps me find out about college opportunities and set goals in life,‖ said Club member and program participant Lissette Leatherwood. ―Since joining BE GREAT: Graduate, I went from being a D student to a B student. You should see my report card.‖ In the United States, one student drops out of school every 26 seconds. Nationally, students from lowincome families drop out at a rate four times higher than students from higher income families. ―Keeping our teenagers in high school and preparing them for success after graduation benefits our students and our communities,‖ said Scott T. VanderSanden, President of AT&T Wisconsin. ―The Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay has a proven graduation strategy that is helping at-risk youth stay in school and succeed academically. We are proud to help them expand this program to help even more teens.‖ Because of its solid record of proven results, the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay was selected from thousands of applicants nationwide as one of 47 schools and non-profits to receive Aspire funding. Applicants were evaluated based on their accomplishments in serving students at risk of dropping out of high school and their ability to use data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work. After a rigorous and competitive process, the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay was identified as making a real difference in their community by supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school, graduate and prepare for the next step in life. To learn more about all of the organizations selected, please visit www.att.com/local-impact. ―We are fortunate to have great organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay who are so dedicated to helping our students succeed in the classroom and graduate high school,‖ said State Rep. John Klenke (R-Green Bay). ―Through mentoring, the Club connects youth with positive role models who not only help boost their self-esteem, but also help students improve academic performance and make better choices.‖ The AT&T Aspire program, with more than 1 million students impacted since its launch in 2008, is one of the largest corporate commitments focused on stemming the high school dropout crisis. AT&T announced a new quarter-billion-dollar expansion to the program in March, bringing the total commitment to $350 million. The Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay helps school age youth make better choices and reach their full potential, serving over 4,000 youth each year. Seventy-five percent of Club members come from families with an annual household income of below $25,000. Eighty-eight percent of Club teens plan to go to college.
Web Site Links: AT&T News AT&T Foundry Related Media Kits: AT&T Aspire
Related Releases: AT&T Announces Quarter-Billion-Dollar Expansion Of Education Commitment
Related Fact Sheets: AT&T Aspire: Helping Students Prepare for the Future
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AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2011, more than $115 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.