The KBK Foundation, based in Garfield, recently awarded a $10,000 grant to The Center that C.A.R.E.S., which runs a summer enrichment program for children and teenagers in the Hill District.

The grant was awarded to offset the expense of some 20 children from Garfield Commons who are participating in the summer program this year. In past years, the Garfield children participated in a summer program run by the Pittsburgh Public Schools, but when funding for that program was cut this year, an alternative program was needed.

BIG CHECK—The kids from the C.A.R.E.S. program at Wesley Center AMEZ church holding the check with Rev. Glenn G. Grayson in back. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

C.A.R.E.S. was chosen because of its affordability and its willingness to accommodate additional students in its multi-faceted summer program.

The C.A.R.E.S. program runs from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. from Monday-Thursday, at no cost to families, and includes daily arts and crafts, fitness activities and other enrichment programs, including field trips to a wide variety of cultural attractions in Pittsburgh. The program includes visits to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, Children’s Museum, National Aviary, Phipps Conservatory and a Pittsburgh Pirates game. Other activities include dance classes, meetings of the Boy and Girl Scouts, movies, swimming at the Thelma Lovette YMCA and activities with the Pitt Mobile science lab and Carnegie Mellon’s robotics program.

“We chose C.A.R.E.S. because of their ability to give children this rich experience,” said Gina Thorpe, the coordinator of the summer program for Garfield Commons. “It’s a program we want to support. C.A.R.E.S. got the grant because of the great work they do with children.”

Keith Key is the president of KBK Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of KBK Enterprises.

The Garfield children are taken by bus each morning to the Hill District, and are brought home each evening. Thorpe anticipates the partnership will continue in future years now that Garfield Commons residents are aware of the quality program provided by C.A.R.E.S.

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