Boys & Girls Clubs announced back in August the launch of the Great Futures Transportation Initiative transporting over 350 of its members from school to its Clubs in Zebulon, Wake Forest and three on Raleigh Blvd. In the coming weeks, the organization will ramp up efforts to eventually bus some 600 members.
In May of this year, Wake County Public Schools informed the Boys & Girls Clubs that it would not be able to provide the same level of transportation as in years past at the start of the 2015/16 school year — affecting nearly 600 Club members from some of our community’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. These 600 children make up nearly 60% of the organizations daily attendance.
Through the purchase of five used buses, the organization will be able to provide a busing service for its members at no additional costs beyond the annual membership fee of $7.50. Annually however, operating the fleet (gas, maintenance, insurance, and drivers) will cost the organization roughly $60,000.
“Many have no other options to get them to the Clubs, and face the prospect of long periods of unsupervised activity during after-school and evening hours when juvenile crime and gang activity are highest,” said Hugh McLean, VP of Operations. He continued, “The Boys & Girls Clubs views this as an opportunity to increase overall memberships and average daily attendance.”
Youth who attend our seven Clubs live in areas of Wake County with few safe places to play or positive opportunities. Many of the neighborhoods we serve are known for high instances of generational poverty, violent crime, drug trafficking, gang activity and school drop-outs. Some 85% of our members represent minority groups. All are from low income households with 68% eligible for free or reduced-price lunch at school – an indicator of severe economic need. More than 53% come from households headed by a single parent, grandparent or caregiver. Frequently, the head of household works several jobs, struggling to make ends meet. Consequently, these families often have limited transportation options and rely on bussing to ensure that their children have safe, supervised places to go after school while parents are at work.
The Great Futures Transportation Initiative (GFTI) offers young people trusted, reliable daily transportation from school to their local Boys & Girls Club, where they can participate in a variety of activities supervised by caring adult role models. Through GFTI, Boys & Girls Clubs has purchased five additional buses, for a total fleet of 7 buses. The Clubs will offer safe and reliable transportation from the schools members attend directly to our Clubs at no additional cost to families. Goals of this program include:
- Ensure transportation for members relying on busing to attend our Clubs
- Increase overall Club Membership
- Increase average daily attendance
- Provide safe, reliable transportation for Club members
- Increase our positive impact on Wake County’s youth
Together we can make sure all kids, especially those who need us most, have a way to get to the Clubs each and every day!
12 Days of Impact (Nov. 20-Dec. 1) features Club stories to get everyone inspired for #GivingTuesday on December 1st, 2015. #GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving reminding us that the spirit of the holiday is about community and not just consumerism. Click here to learn more/ play a critical role in shaping the lives of our community’s young people this holiday season!