The Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation was established in 1999 and offers after school programs and summer activities for children ages 5-12 living in low income housing. The Foundation invests at least three hours a day and nearly 200 days per year with the children in order to implement a consistent environment of support. It has impacted the lives of nearly 800 children in the last twenty years, and many of the children have stayed involved in the Foundations’ programs for as many as seven years. Many children return to volunteer at the after school programs when they are thirteen or fourteen years old.
Records show that students enrolled in the Foundation have improved school attendance and performance. The children are encouraged to do their best in elementary school so that they will grow to become responsible young adults prepared for further education and eventual financial independence. At the after school programs, students complete homework assignments and study for upcoming tests. The program staff members keep in touch with each student’s school teacher to discuss academic concerns. The Foundation records show that the average grades in Mathematics and Reading among all of the children range between 88% and 90% at each report period. The after school program invites guests from many professions and organizations to interact with the children so that they are exposed to a much wider view of the world than they would normally see. When funds permit, the children attend field trips to learn about the arts, nature and the environment, sports, and other interests. During the after school and summer programs, the Foundation’s team of staff integrate character education into all activities including sports and recreation.
Above all, the Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation provides the children with support, encouragement, and guidance. The children gain self-respect and resilience so that they walk away from drugs and crime, and walk towards their own bright future.