Boys & Girls Clubs To Hold Graduation Program Rally

The new school year is just around the corner and with its arrival comes the opportunity for members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manhattan to participate in an "I Can Achieve" Academic Pledge Rally.

The Manhattan Boys & Girls Club, located at 305 S. Fourth St. is one of only 300 organizations selected from across the country to receive a $1,000 grant from JCPenney Afterschool to organize and host a motivational academic pledge rally. "We believe it’s very important to call attention to such an important initiative," said, Barb Allen, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manhattan. "We know from research and firsthand experience that without support many of our members may accept lower standards of academic achievement, that lower their aspirations for higher education. Low achievement in school generally leads to unrealized potential, locking youngsters into limited options for employment and life in general."

Boys & Girls Clubs from Maine to Mississippi will host "I Can Achieve" Academic Pledge Rallies supported by local mayors and school superintendents. The rally will also include a formal signing of pledge cards by members as well as by a Boys & Girls Club staff professional and parents, demonstrating their commitment to support. The academic pledge cards are based on a five-step process in which youngsters are guided to set goals, supported to achieve them, and counseled to understand the relationship between small steps today, and bigger results for the future.

Academic pledge rallies, like the one planned for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manhattan, are part of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Goals for Graduation curriculum sponsored by JCPenney Afterschool. Goals for Graduation introduces academic goal setting to Club members by linking their future aspirations with concrete actions they can take now, thus making learning more personally rewarding. Working with Boys & Girls Club staff, members set achievable "Know-I-Can" goals, more challenging "Think-I-Can" goals and yearly "Believe-I-Can" goals. Participants create an action plan with daily and weekly goals leading to both short-term and long-term gains. A comprehensive guidance strategy helps members connect their smallest results to their highest dreams.

The "I Can Achieve" Academic Pledge Rally will be held with in front of JCPenney inside the Manhattan Town Center on Friday, August 16th at 5:00 p.m. "We want every young person in our community to succeed, and that’s why we’re thrilled to sponsor this pledge rally," said, J.J. McCowan, local JCPenney Afterschool Coach. The rally will include a motivational speaker from the KSU Athletics Department; a bookmark contest, refreshments for all pledge rally participants and a live D.J. providing entertainment for all.

The Boys & Girls Club has played an integral role in the Manhattan community for 9 years, providing daily programs and services to more than 1,000 young people. The Club’s programs emphasize education and career enhancement, character and leadership development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation.

JCPenney Afterschool is committed to helping provide children with high-quality, affordable after-school programs to help them reach their full potential.

JCPenney Afterschool is a non-profit organization contributing financial support to America’s leading after-school advocates, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America. JCPenney Afterschool’s support helps provide safe, fun and educational after-school programs and raise awareness of the need for more such programs across the country.