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Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, Sen. Hansen Team Up with AT&T to Present Nearly 40 Dictionaries to Green Bay Elementary Students

Program Helps Promote Childhood Literacy, Afterschool programs; AT&T Also Encourages Wisconsin Organizations to Apply for Aspire Funding by April 18

Green Bay, Wisconsin, April 16, 2012

The Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay and State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) teamed up today with the AT&T Wisconsin Pioneers in presenting donated dictionaries to nearly 40 area third and fourth graders as part of a statewide effort to improve childhood literacy and student reading scores. The event also highlighted the importance of afterschool programs to improving student achievement and reminded Wisconsin organizations of the April 18th deadline to apply for funding through AT&T’s Aspire program.

“This is an exciting event because it teaches students about the dictionary, helping to improve student literacy and reading scores,” said John Benberg, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay.  “It also highlights the importance of afterschool programs that keep our kids safe, help working families, and improve academic achievement.”

The event included a presentation where Sen. Hansen and Boys & Girls Club staff explained to the students what information they can find in the dictionaries and how to use them.  The Pioneers are donating nearly 9,000 dictionaries this school year to students at more than 130 schools statewide, including Jefferson Elementary, as part of its 6th annual “Dictionaries for Success” program.  The Pioneers are a local volunteer organization of AT&T employees and retirees dedicated to volunteering their time to various community causes.

“Our children must have access to the proper tools and resources to help them succeed in the classroom,” said Sen. Hansen.  “These dictionaries will go a long way toward helping our young people excel in school and build a bright future.”

A former teacher for nine years, Sen. Hansen served on the Senate Education Committee from 2003-2009 and has continually supported bills to strengthen Wisconsin’s educational system.

The Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay currently hosts afterschool programs at six locations throughout Green Bay, including at Jefferson Elementary.  Each site offers structured, engaging programs in a safe and supervised environment.

The “Dictionaries for Success” program is part of AT&T Cares, an expanded volunteer initiative created to encourage employees to get involved in community service that is meaningful to them and their communities, to create change, and to stay engaged.  The AT&T Pioneers have been distributing donated dictionaries to more than 130 schools statewide this academic year, including schools in Green Bay, Appleton, Madison, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Beloit, Janesville, and Eau Claire.

“AT&T is committed to helping advance the education of our young people,” said Robyn Gruner, Director of External Affairs for AT&T Wisconsin and a local Pioneer.  “We are proud to join forces with Sen. Hansen, the Boys & Girls Club, and educators throughout the state to give students the tools they need to develop into the future leaders of tomorrow.  We’re also proud of our new Aspire commitment to help students graduate high school, and we encourage Wisconsin organizations to apply for funding by April 18.”

Last month, AT&T announced a new $250 million commitment to AT&T Aspire, an educational program that provides funding to local programs working to help students graduate high school and be prepared for college and careers.  Through Aspire, AT&T has already provided $100 million to local organizations across the country, helping prepare more than one million U.S. high school students for success in college and the workplace.  Wisconsin’s Aspire investment has amounted to $1,117,465 since 2008, with the Milwaukee Public Schools, the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools, and the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District receiving funding.

Interested Wisconsin organizations have until April 18, 2012 to submit applications to pre-qualify for potential funding through the Local High School Impact Initiative Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

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