PROVIDENCE – During a time when school budgets are slashed and teachers are in dire need for resources and incentives for their students, National Grid Foundation scored an assist in providing a $30,000 grant to support the Providence Hoops for the Stars Program.
Hoops for the Stars is a partnership program that provides inner-city students with the opportunity to earn tickets to Providence College men’s basketball games in return for hard work in the classroom and positive behavior in the community.
This year marks the fourth consecutive year that National Grid Foundation has teamed up with Providence College Athletics to make an imprint on the lives of inner-city students in Providence through the Hoops for the Stars Program. In the past, Hoops for the Stars has targeted middle school students. This year, thanks to additional National Grid Foundation support the program has expanded into the elementary schools.
“I am especially grateful for the National Grid Foundation’s continued support of the Hoops for the Stars Program. Year after year, we can count on National Grid Foundation to allow us to provide our students with opportunities that otherwise would not be possible given our budget restraints. The Hoops for the Stars Program has become ingrained in the Providence school system and every year our students look forward to the challenges and rewards that are offered with the program. On behalf of all of our students, teachers, principals and administrators, I want to extend a sincere thank you to National Grid Foundation,” Marc Catone, Executive Director of Middle Level Education.
“We are proud to once again partner with Providence College in delivering a program that demonstrates our commitment to education and to the communities we serve,” said National Grid Foundation President Bob Keller. “By adding elementary school students to the program we will be able to establish good classroom habits early on in a child’s school career” said Keller.
On Friday, November 4, Keller and Providence College Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach Andre LaFleur kicked-off the Hoops for the Stars Program at Mary Fogarty Elementary School in South Providence. LaFleur, who was an assistant coach on the University of Connecticut’s 2011 national championship team, addressed a group of more than 100 students to share his story of success and challenge the students to work hard in the classroom and be leaders among their peers.
“Looking around the room, it was easy to see the excitement in the students’ eyes as we presented the Hoops for the Stars Program. Over the years, as budgets have been decreased, many programs like this have been eliminated and it has been more difficult for teachers to keep their students focused on their studies. Thanks to National Grid Foundation, teachers will have the incentives they need to motivate their students and the students have a goal and a dream that they can work towards. To me, that is what makes Hoops for the Stars so special,” said LaFleur.
This year’s program will provide 4,500 tickets to inner city schools. Every student will receive a National Grid Foundation Hoops for the Stars t-shirt that they can wear proudly at the games and in the classroom.