Athena Giving Circle awards 2023 grant to Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO — The Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro has been named the 2023 recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Athena Giving Circle, a group of area women who pool resources to support one local nonprofit organization each year. This is their fourth annual award.

“We are pleased to recognize the Boys & Girls Club for their work with area youth and to encourage their on-going collaborations with many of Brattleboro's arts organizations,” Gail Nunziata, speaking for the Athena group, wrote in a news release.

The Boys & Girls Club hosts after school programs for children ages 5–11 at Retreat Farm, teens at the Flat Street Club, and summer camps at Hilltop Montessori School.

Along with their emphasis on academics and outdoor recreation, according to Club Executive Director Michelle Simpson, “The club is a safe place for kids to try new things, make new friends, and engage in unique opportunities. Children and youth gain essential skills toward character development and healthy habits of mind.”

The Boys & Girls Club provides gateways throughout the community for its members, including in the arts.

“Their partnerships with arts organizations spoke to us this year,” Nunziata said. “We love that discovery and creativity are at the heart of their offerings.”

The Boys & Girls Club has developed programs with HatchSpace, the River Gallery School, In-Sight Photography Project, and First Proof Press, among others.

“The gift from the Athena Giving Circle enhances access to our programs, as the Club does not turn anyone away due to inability to pay,” Simpson said. “Our top priority is providing youth with a safe space to learn, grow, explore, and have fun while being nurtured by consistent and caring adults.

“Our highly trained staff are joined by teachers and other experts in the community to offer enrichment and academic support. Playing a game of pool with a mentor quickly turns into a geometry lesson. Preparing a healthy snack with the Food Co-op becomes an exploration in geography, botany, and culture. It may sound like a cliché, but broadening horizons remains the business of youth development.”

“Each year the Athena Giving Circle is excited to explore the valuable work done by local nonprofit organizations,” Nunziata said. “Our gifts are given to acknowledge the impact these groups have on our community. Our awards are a tribute to their efforts."

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