312 kids and teens take part in Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s annual back to school shopping events

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale held its annual back-to-school shopping events last week at Kohl’s in Desert Ridge providing an opportunity for 272 valley club members selected by need to purchase new clothes, shoes, and backpacks. Youth members received $125 and teens were allotted $150 to shop for essentials. Next weekend another 40 club members at the BGCS Peach Springs branch will shop at the Flagstaff Kohl’s.

Through the program, youth ages 5 through 18 who qualify for free or reduced lunch or are in Foster Care are invited to participate in what the youth development organization calls its annual Kid Spree. Funding for this program comes from donations including a $15,000 lead donation from the Scottsdale Active 20/30 Club.

“The kids are excited to have this opportunity to shop for the latest styles to start the school year out on the right foot,” said Ivan Gilreath, BGCS President and CEO. “I think we can all remember the feeling we had with a brand new pair of jeans and sneakers for that first day of school. This program gives our kids who need us most a huge boost of confidence.”

Kohl’s opens its doors early for the events so that the kids have the store to themselves while they shop. To make the day even more special, Ralph the Sneaky Big Studios raccoon was on hand to cheer the young shoppers on and pose for photos.

BGCS is open to kids and teens at nine locations with after-school programming that includes homework help; cutting-edge learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in their brand new STEAM Makerspace Studios; leadership and good citizenship; and fitness and healthy choices.

Learn more about BGCS after-school programs at www.bgcs.org.