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$10,000 grant from Best Buy Children’s Foundation helps local Boys & Girls Club

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$10,000 grant from Best Buy Children’s Foundation helps local Boys & Girls Club

Knoxville, Tenn. – Best Buy Children’s Foundation has recognized Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley with a $10,000 Teens and Technology Innovation Grant to support and grow the innovative use of technology within the Haslam Family Club University, located on Caswell Avenue in north Knoxville.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley is one of only six recipients across the country to receive this grant, which will be used to fund a teen-driven innovation project using technology to enhance teen programs in the areas of mobile technologies, social networking and/or media safety.

The grant, which aligns with @15, Best Buy’s focus on teens, will allow an estimated 20 Tennessee Valley-area teens to develop marketable skills, achieve academic success and become fully engaged in technology learning. 

This grant will be used for the purpose of extending the Club’s in-house radio station, Radio BGC, into an online station. Boys & Girls Club members will have the opportunity to tune in while at the Club to hear popular music and teen insight and to win contests. Air personalities will also provide public service announcements about important events happening within the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley organization, which includes 15 locations.

Additionally, parents, community partners and other listeners from across the country will be able to access the station on www.radiobgc.org

“We are honored to be recognized by Best Buy Children’s Foundation for our incessant commitment to providing youth with the resources to be creative, compassionate and productive citizens,” said John D. Lee, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. “It’s because of partners like the Best Buy Children’s Foundation that we are able to offer technology programming that encourages a passion for education, innovation and future success.”

The Haslam Family Club University, a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, has continuously been recognized for its technology programs. In fact, the north Knoxville Club recently received the Technology Program Innovation Award at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA’s) 104th Annual National Conference, held this summer in New York, N.Y. 

The Technology Program Innovation Award is presented to one Club throughout the BGCA network that uses technology in innovative ways to teach technology skills as well as enhance overall Club programs and activities.

The Haslam Family Club University provides programs like BGC Radio, an in-house radio station in which members learn the basics of radio broadcasting, and the Comic Book League program, in which members are introduced to the digital and artistic development of the comic book genre. These programs, along with Internet, digital design, photography, movie and music technology classes, helped contribute to the award. 

Millions of America’s youth are in danger of becoming victims of the “digital divide.” These youth are at a disadvantage in the classroom, in the job market and are ill-equipped to take their place as productive members of society. With the help of its partners, Boys & Girls Clubs creates digital opportunities for Club members and staff by making them both computer and Internet literate. Achieving this goal enables Club members to perform on a level playing field both academically and economically.

A study from the University of Washington’s Center for Information & Society found that technology programs like Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Club Tech promote learning, such as an improved fluency, confidence and excitement with technology. It also demonstrated that Club Tech promotes an understanding among youth that computers are considered an essential part of “being educated.”

Best Buy Children’s Foundation continues to support Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s efforts to create technology rich environments in Clubs to retain teen members, attract new teens and enable Clubs to have a positive impact on their success. Through support of Myclubmylife.com and Teens and Technology Innovation Grants, Best Buy Children’s Foundation is helping Clubs provide a safe, fun and supportive environment to explore, grow and be engaged in the digital and physical community.

For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley or the Best Buy Children’s Foundation Teens and Technology Innovation Grant, contact John D. Lee at (865) 248-1100 or jlee@bgctnv.org or Kelly Hayman at (865) 248-1136 or khayman@bgctnv.org.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley
Boys & Girls Clubs has served the Tennessee Valley region since 1943. Its mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need the organization the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The organization’s programs are focused on Character & Leadership Development, Education & Career Development, Health & Life Skills, the Arts, Sports and Fitness & Recreation. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley serves members in Knox, Blount, Loudon and North Anderson Counties. The organization employs more than 260 trained, professional, caring staff and welcomes more than 1,200 volunteers annually. It is a charter member of United Way. For more information about Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, visit www.bgctnv.org.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.
With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Mexico and Turkey, Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with a commitment to growth and innovation. The Best Buy family of brands and partnerships collectively generates more than $49 billion in annual revenue and includes brands such as Best Buy; Best Buy Mobile; Audiovisions; The Carphone Warehouse; Future Shop; Geek Squad, Jiangsu Five Star; Magnolia Audio Video; Napster; Pacific Sales; and The Phone House. Approximately 180,000 employees apply their talents to help bring the benefits of these brands to life for customers through retail locations, multiple call centers and websites, in-home solutions, product delivery and activities in our communities. Community partnership is central to the way business is done at Best Buy. In fiscal 2010, the company donated a combined $25.2 million to improve the vitality of the communities where its employees and customers live and work. For more information about Best Buy, visit www.bby.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Club Tech Program
Club Tech was created by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) and Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) in 2000 to technologically enable Clubs worldwide, transforming Clubs from “swim and gym” to “point and click.” Partnering with longtime supporter Comcast (www.comcast.com) and Microsoft, BGCA provides technology program access to some 4.2 million youth served through Club membership and community outreach at some 4,000 Clubs. By leveling the virtual playing field, kids of all ages and circumstances now have access to the same resources and skills to help them discover their world, expand creativity, perform better in school, and eventually take their technology know-how into the workplace.

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