Release from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia:
Charlottesville, VA, April 4, 2016—The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia is proud to announce that the Smyth Foundation, established by Gordon and Mary Beth Smyth, has pledged to contribute $1 million to support innovative educational programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia.
The single largest program commitment ever made to the Club, the Smyth Foundation gift will support an expansion of its acclaimed reading and math programs to include hands-on STEM-focused offerings. The Club’s Summer Reading program, now in its fifth year and at three different Clubs, has ensured that 200 kids each summer have maintained or improved their reading skills so they stay on track during a time of year when many fall behind. Last year, the Club piloted a small Summer Math program, which will expand to all six Clubs this summer. As a result of the Smyths’ generosity, Clubs plan to implement hands-on engineering, biology, technology and physics projects, as well as competitions and challenges organization-wide in the coming 5 years.
Gordon and Mary Beth Smyth have supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia since 2008. Their Foundation’s primary interest in the Clubs continues to be allowing for a safe and supportive place for kids to flourish during out-of-school time.
“We are so thankful for the extraordinary generosity of the Smyths on the occasion of what would have been Gordon’s 89th birthday,” said Boys & Girls Club Board President Meghan Murray. “Gordon and Mary Beth have helped so many young people open their worlds through the power of education. We are overwhelmed by their generosity and honored by their trust in us to continue this extraordinary legacy.”
“We are happy to support an organization that does so much for children and families,” said Mary Beth Smyth. “We have seen firsthand the importance of providing young people with stimulating programs and positive role models outside of the school environment. This is something the Club does every day, and we are proud to play a part in that support reaching even more children and families in our community.”
“As a Club volunteer, Mary Beth Smyth has a unique understanding of the many programs we provide for the kids who need us most,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia CEO James Pierce. “This extraordinary gift also highlights the significant and ongoing need that exists in our communities. As much good work as we do, and as hard as we strive to serve all who need our support, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia still serves only 15% of those who truly need us in our communities. By making a commitment such as they have, the Smyth Foundation is making an important statement about the power we all have to make a difference by investing in the lives of young people who can then make a difference in this community and in this world.”