A&M-Commerce entered into an agreement with Commerce ISD and the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Texas on September 10 wherein the university committed $25,000 annually and Commerce ISD committed $40,000 annually to support the local Boys and Girls Club.
University President Mark Rudin said, “A&M-Commerce is pleased to serve as a partner with the Northeast Texas Boys and Girls Club and Commerce ISD on this initiative that serves such a critical role in the community.”
Commerce Boys and Girls Club Board President Wyman Williams emphasized the vital role of the program.
“Boys and Girls Club offers a safe and affordable place for students to be after school to focus on their academic work and also take part in fun activities that build confidence and teach leadership,” Williams said.
According to the agreement, the university’s annual contribution will be used to employ qualified personnel who will coordinate enrichment activities for the children, including collaborative activities with the university.
Williams explained that the new alliance extends and expands an existing agreement that began two years ago. The new deal extends for three years and will help support after-school programs at four Commerce ISD campuses.
The agreement also provides opportunities for work-study students from A&M-Commerce to mentor children at the Boys and Girls Club.
The written agreement states that the university “is equipping college students with experience and résumé builders for fields such as education, social work and counseling.” It specifies that up to 20 university work-study students may work part time at the club.
Additionally, the partnership opens research opportunities to graduate students and faculty from A&M-Commerce.
Cece Gassner, vice-president for research and economic development at A&M-Commerce, explained, “The university is also exploring potential research opportunities, which have not yet been identified, that could provide real-world experience for our students and contribute to the body of knowledge around child development.”
Boys and Girls Club board member Colette Young stated, “The partnership of the three organizations is the perfect trifecta. The ISD is getting its after-school program in a nationally proven way…the university is getting students [an] involved, hands-on education…and the Boys and Girls Club now has financial support to put the gears into motion!”
The collaboration is in keeping with the Commerce Together initiative, an ongoing effort among A&M-Commerce, Commerce ISD and the local community to work together on initiatives that benefit our local community.
“We at the university are committed to continuing the successful program and seeing it expand and provide an even greater benefit to all whose lives are touched through this partnership,” Rudin said.