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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Boys & Girls Club (SBGS) received a $10,000 charitable grant from KeyBank Foundation, which will support the club’s Brain Gain program, an after-school program designed to bolster appropriate grade-level reading skills for the inner city, at-risk children, and youth served by the club.

“The Boys & Girls Club is pleased to see KeyBank’s strong commitment to the education of children,” Executive Director Vinnie Borello said. “This gift from Keybank Foundation is a much-needed investment to our community as we strive to help our kids expand their reading skills in a fun learning environment. We appreciate KeyBank’s support.”

The vast majority of children served by the Springfield Boys & Girls Club are from low-income families, with 65% of them raised in homes where English is a second language, putting them at a disadvantage in terms of reading, retention, and school learning. In addition, many of the students are still recovering from learning loss sustained during the remote learning environment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Brain Gain program is designed to build reading comprehension and retention skills so that participants are reading at grade level at minimum. SBGS utilizes specific software programs to support the curriculum and provides Chromebook computers and internet access to children who may otherwise have no access to technology and these learning tools.

“At KeyBank, we believe in supporting organizations and programs that help students be successful in school, get good grades, and eventually graduate and have access to college and career-building opportunities,” said Analisha Michanczyk, KeyBank’s Corporate Responsibility officer. “The Boys and Girls Club’s Brain Gain program is an effective way to help kids build literacy skills and perform better in school, and we are proud to support their efforts.”