But club officers say the annual contribution is just one of many ways the bank has stayed involved with the club. These other ways the bank helps includes bank employees serving on the board of directors of the club and other employees serving as volunteers for the club’s activities.
As a Champion of Children, Citizens will sponsor both of the club’s special events and will be highlighted throughout the year. The bank’s investment will also be a primary source of funding for “Power Hour,” the club’s daily homework help program. Academic success is one of three outcomes the club emphasizes, and Power Hour is one of the most critical programs in helping the club’s members attain academic success.
Citizens Bank has served the Elizabethton community since 1934 and continues to be invested in its citizens. As the bank grows, one of its priorities remains focusing on making a difference in the local community in areas that help their customers and employees. Chairman and CEO Joe LaPorte III said, “Elizabethton is our home. It’s where we started and where we always want to be. This gift is just one way we want to help the kids in this community succeed in school and do well in their lives.”
When children enter the club’s doors, Power Hour is already open. The club served over 500 members in 2017, and Power Hour is something every child is encouraged to attend. Ginny Wright, the club’s executive director, said, “Every gift makes a difference, but Citizens’ gift is going to fund one of our most critical and most used programs. This is a place kids can get the help they need to succeed academically and achieve long term success.”
While in Power Hour, the children work through their homework with the help of trained staff and volunteers. They earn “points” for completing their assignments, but some choose to earn extra points for doing fun, educational worksheets or by practicing the skills they’re studying in school. At the end of every nine weeks, they cash in their points at a Power Hour store where they can earn rewards ranging from school supplies to toys. It’s an environment designed not only to help club members do well in school but also to encourage self-directed learning and foster an interest in academics.
Citizens Bank will be the primary source of funding for Power Hour in 2018. Wright estimates the program will be available 180 days for two hours each session. She said, “when parents get home, there is so much to do in a few hours before bedtime. Dinner, family time, and homework. Citizens is giving these kids the chance to do better in school, but they’re also helping families balance their growing demands.”
Matt Lewis, vice president and network administrator for Citizens Bank and currently a board member of the Boys & Girls Club, described how the bank sees its support of the vlub, “The kids going to the Boys & Girls Club today will likely be in our community twenty years down the road, so while we know we are helping them succeed today, we believe we’re truly investing in the future of tomorrow.”
Contact Elizabeth Williams to see how you can get involved with the Boys & Girls Club at 423-543-2946 or check out their website at www.bgcecc.org.