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Boys & Girls Club of East Providence Receives Grant from Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation

In June, Saint-Gobain Seals Group presented a $5,000 check from Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation to the Boys & Girls Club of East Providence, which will be used to fund a summer program, Positive Sprouts, at their Camp Crosby facility in Bristol, Rhode Island.  The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation provides financial support to community organizations through their Direct Grants, Community Gifts, and Matching Gifts programs; their aim is to help improve the quality of life for the communities in which Saint-Gobain operates, and in which their employees live and work.

Positive Sprouts is focused on sustainable habitat and designed to be a hands-on, experiential learning program with two main program activities:

1.    Campers will become “Nature Troopers,” charged with learning about and how to protect their local habitat.  Nature Troopers, ages 10 to 12, will work with instructors to complete the National Wildlife Federation application to have the camp designated a “Certified Wildlife Habitat.” This process will require them to make detailed observations of the camp flora and fauna and ensure that criteria are met for this designation.

2.    Campers will be in charge of the creation of a “Camp-wide Habitat,” based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Schoolyard Habitat Program.

Due to local schools not having the green space to undertake this initiative during the school year, Camp Crosby has stepped in to fill this gap and their five-acre camp habitat will include fruit and vegetable gardens planted by campers, the creation of a rain garden to minimize storm runoff into the Mount Hope Bay, and the re-establishment of a nature trail through more than two acres of woods to allow campers to observe this ecosystem up close.  As plants are ready for harvest later in the summer, the fruits and vegetables will be used in cooking activities at camp and also made available for parents to bring home in weekly “Friday Farmers Markets.”

Erin Gilliatt, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club of East Providence, said, “We are thrilled that Saint-Gobain’s grant has enabled us to incorporate more formal environmental education into our summer camp programs.  This grant will truly help our members understand the importance of becoming environmental advocates throughout their lives.”

The Boys & Girls Club of East Providence is part of a nationwide movement of community-based, autonomous Club organizations and Boys & Girls Clubs of America working to help youth of all backgrounds develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders.

The Seals Group’s Meldin® site, which manufactures Meldin® 7000 thermoset polyimide materials and Meldin® HT high-performance thermoplastic materials for critical applications in engines, medical devices, aircraft and aerospace systems, electronic apparatus, and industrial equipment, is located right down the street from the camp and has been a local supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of East Providence for the past few years.  Recently, club members visited the manufacturing site where they were introduced to the Seals Group’s sustainable programs and community initiatives. To continue their support of the club, the site has offered to host a tour for their students to assist in career building efforts as well as assisting the summer camp.

Rob Gaiser, Seals Group Meldin® Business Manager, said, “We are fortunate to work for Saint-Gobain who believes in supporting our employees and their communities.  As a manufacturing facility, our mission is to minimize our impact on the environment.  This important program teaches children about their eco-system and how to sustain viable habitats and resources, which will benefit them now and in the future.”

If you would like to know more about the Boys & Girls Club of East Providence, please visit www.epbgc.org.  You can also tune into the SG2 Communications Network for updates on the Seals Group’s Meldin® site or other news about the group.

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