Embargoed Until August 25, 2:00pm
Boys & Girls Clubs Launches Great Futures Transpiration Initiative
Providing Daily Safe Transportation for nearly 600 Wake County Youth
[Raleigh, NC] [Tuesday, August 25] Boys & Girls Clubs yesterday announced 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
About the Boys & Girls Clubs
For more than 48 years, Boys & Girls Clubs has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, the organization serves nearly 4,800 children and teens through seven Club locations in some of Wake County’s most deserving neighborhoods. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. Learn more about the positive impact Boys & Girls Clubs are having in our community by visiting www.wakebgc.org.