United Way Awards $100,000 to 13 organizations to support summer programs for Lowell youth

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley joined community representatives at Lowell City Hall on Thursday, July 10, 2014 to announce the distribution of $100,000 in grants to 13 local youth-serving agencies as part of the organization’s Summer Experiences in Greater Lowell (SEGL) initiative. 

The SEGL initiative is part of United Way’s commitment to support summer programs across the region.  Research shows that while middle class students can actually make gains over the summer, their low-income classmates often lose an average of three or more months of achievement. Over time, this gap can add up to as much as two grade levels by the time they reach middle school.  Since the summer of 2000, SEGL has helped to offset summer learning loss among Lowell area youth by exposing them to arts and culture, engaging them in sports, and helping them to develop leadership, social, and academic skills while school is not in session.  The program also provides crucial summer employment opportunities for older youth.

“This $100,000 is a reflection of the commitment and passion of the people and organizations who came together to ensure that our local youth had access to enriching summer activities,” said Michael K. Durkin, president of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.   “We’ve seen firsthand that summer opportunities for children and youth are a critical investment, and it is one we are proud to be able to make together in Greater Lowell.”

The funding for SEGL was raised by the Greater Lowell community and United Way  at the annual Martini Spring Fling fundraiser and with support from SEGL lead sponsors Kronos, TD Bank and the Lantheus Golf Tournament.

Organizations to be awarded SEGL funding:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, Inc.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Billerica, Inc.
  • Community Teamwork, Inc.
  • Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell
  • Greater Lowell Family YMCA
  • Light of Cambodian Children, Inc.
  • Lowell Community Health Center
  • Merrimack Repertory Theatre
  • The Caleb Group
  • The Paul Center for Learning and Recreation, Inc.
  • The United Teen Equality Center, Inc. (UTEC)
  • YWCA of Greater Lowell
  • Lowell Housing Authority

The SEGL initiative is led by Co-Chairs Joyce G. Leger of Lantheus Medical Imaging, Barb Vlacich of Kronos, Inc. and Alison Kalman of Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank., as well as a number of individuals, companies and foundations.  Sponsors include TD Bank, Kronos, Nancy and Richard Donahue Foundation, Lowell General Hospital, Battles Foundation, Enterprise Bank, Sage Bank, The Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, ITW Foilmark, The Lowell Sun Charities, Thibault Foundation, Winn Companies, Merrimack Valley Labor Council, Lowell Spinners, All Sports Heroes, Red Mill Graphics, and media sponsors LTC, Merrimack Valley Chamber, Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce.