KSAT Community spotlight: Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio seeks back-to-school donations for kids in need

Supplies include pencils, headphones, pens, crayons, glue sticks

SAN ANTONIO – To help ensure children living in low-income households don’t fall behind in a virtual classroom, KSAT Community is teaming up with the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio (BGCSA) to spread awareness for BGCSA’s Learning Pod Program Wish List.

With the onset of the pandemic, the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio made the difficult decision to close the clubs and suspend in-person programming. According to BGCSA, 13% of low-income students completely disengaged when schools went online, these numbers were much higher for minority students.

Over the ten weeks that the clubs were closed, BGCSA distributed 2,441 Club on the Go Care Packages filled with essential supplies and activities for children and emergency food for 6,522 families suffering from food insecurity, in addition to offering virtual programs for Club Members.

“As the new school year approaches, BGCSA is closely tracking the plans for re-opening the public-school districts and charter schools that our members attend,” said Renee Garvens, Chief Development Officer for BGCSA. “Many of our families do not have jobs that can be done from home.”

A recent survey of more than 700 Club families revealed that between 450-800 Club members will need full-day programs for as long as schools remain virtual.

For kids that need BGCSA the most, the nonprofit will offer academic support in the virtual learning environment. Beginning Aug. 17, BGCSA will offer full-day programming, adding a new team of Academic Aides to guide the students during their virtual school hours in small group “learning pods”.

“In order to help our Club kids attending virtual school at Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, we need to supply all of the tools they need for success,” Garvens said.

BGCSA is committed to providing the full day, Learning Pod program for as long as vulnerable families need us, ensuring youth thrive in a virtual learning environment and working parents have the support they need while they work to provide for their families.

Supplies needed can be purchased and shipped directly to the Clubs by clicking here. Supplies can be dropped off or mailed to Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio 123 Ralph Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78204.

“With your support, the learning pods will bridge the gap for young people who have suffered significant learning loss since the closure of schools in March and help families on the Eastside, Westside, and Southside of San Antonio get the support they need to keep working,” said Garvens.

The nonprofit is hoping to have 300 to 600 headphones donated for each student in the building and their own set of supplies.

The Clubs provide after school and summer programs for youth, ages 6 to 18 years old. BGCSA creates an engaging space for over 7,000 youth who may otherwise be home alone, unsupervised. At BGCSA, members not only have fun, they stay safe, foster positive relationships, build self-confidence and succeed.

KSAT Community operates in partnership with University Health System, Energy Transfer and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.

About the Author:

Kiersten has been a Digital Content Creator with KSAT12 since 2017. She graduated from Texas State University with an electronic media degree and previously worked for the Spurs Sports & Entertainment.