In 2004, CTPAA created the CTPAA Community Bridges Award to recognize outstanding, non-cable industry partner organizations and individuals taking part in cable public affairs initiatives. The cable industry is committed to improving the communities in which it serves, and partner organizations and individuals are often instrumental to the success of cable public affairs initiatives. The inaugural winner of the CTPAA Community Bridges Award is Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s tradition of service to the nation’s youth began in 1860 when the first Boys Club was established in Hartford, Conn. Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of some 3,400 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving more than 4 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances.
Known as “The Positive Place for Kids,” the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time, professional staff.
Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation.
Across the country, the cable industry has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help them achieve their mission to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
Cable companies have shown public service announcements promoting the activities of Boys & Girls Clubs, established technology centers and donated other in-kind services as well as cash grants to Clubs locally and nationally.
At the national level, Boys & Girls Clubs of America have partnered with Nickelodeon and ESPN to organize fun and safe, local events that would inspire children to be active and play, and ESPN has collected and donated sporting gear to Clubs across the country. This past fall, AMC donated 60,000 Halloween Safety Packs to 60 Boys & Girls Clubs.
Cox Communications Inc. is a national Technology Sponsor of the Clubs and provides free or discounted video and Cox High Speed Internet Service, PSAs and employee volunteers. Cox has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s NetSmartz organization to create community workshops to help parents and children learn about Internet safety.
At the local level, cable employees have mentored disadvantaged children, provided workshops on media literacy and public speaking, and donated basic school supplies.
On Comcast Cares Day, a company-wide day of service, and Cox Connects Day, Cox’s national volunteer day at Boys & Girls Clubs, employees from local cable companies renovated clubs across the country. Volunteers cleaned, painted, assembled new furniture, installed computers and high-speed Internet service and did whatever they could to make the clubs a little brighter and more welcoming.
Local cable companies such as Time Warner Cable Los Angeles and Time Warner Cable Rochester have collected clothing, shoes and basic school supplies for students who participate in after-school programs at local Boys & Girls Clubs. In the past year, Cox Communications New England hosted 30 members of the Newport, R.I, Boys & Girls Club at a Tennis Clinic at the Newport Tennis Hall of Fame, held a Halloween Carnival at Boys & Girls Club of West Warwick, R.I., and brought the Harlem Wizards Basketball Team to Boys & Girls Club of Meriden, Conn. Together, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the cable industry are helping children to reach their full potential.