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Girls Inc. gains JCPenney funds

AHOSKIE – The JCPenney Afterschool Fund has awarded a $1,000 grant to Girls Incorporated of the Albemarle to provide children in the Ahoskie area with access to safe, life enriching afterschool programs.

Made on behalf of JCPenney Catalog Merchant Gordon Knox to raise awareness of the importance of afterschool programs for youth in the community, the grant will help Girls Inc. provide local children in need with access to life-enriching afterschool programs that will keep them safe and foster their academic, physical and social development.

“We realize that the afterschool issue is a cause close to the hearts and minds of our customers,” said Tammy Kittrell, manager of the JCPenney Catalog Desk located inside Classic Rentals (NC 42 West, Ahoskie). “We share the commitment of JCPenney and the JCPenney Afterschool Fund to the youth of this community and look forward to the day when all children will have access to essential afterschool programs that help them reach their full potential.”

Girls Inc. of the Albemarle was grateful to JCPenney for the generous contribution.

“This gift from the JCPenney Afterschool Fund will help us continue to reach more children in Ahoskie and provide them with programs that keep them safe when the school day ends,” said Denise Rodgers, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of the Albemarle. “We’re fortunate to be among the programs that will benefit from the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. That fund will support thousands of communities across the nation this year.”

Studies show that 14.3 million children in the United States are unsupervised after school between the hours of 3-6 p.m. each day. Additionally, studies show that youth are at greater risk of involvement in crime, drug abuse and other destructive behaviors during these hours.

Meanwhile, high-quality afterschool programs provide a safe alternative for children and produce life-changing, lasting benefits – including healthier lifestyles, improved social skills and enhanced academic performance. To address this issue, JCPenney created its Afterschool Fund in 2001. To date, the fund has contributed more that $70 million to support afterschool programs nationwide.