Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville receives $50K grant

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The Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville has received a $50,000 grant that will be used to support arts programming and hire an individual who will serve as art club director for children.

The funding was donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville by the Genesis Inspiration Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to improve educational outcomes for children through the arts. A check presentation was made Aug. 19 at the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville, where representatives from both organizations gathered to mark the occasion.

The Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville has an art program, but the donation will allow the nonprofit to enhance what it already offers to youths, said Wendy Casteel, unit director. Officials also plan to use the funding to allow children to take field trips, which will allow them to be introduced and exposed to art so they can have a better appreciation of what they can do with the arts at the facility, Casteel said.

The Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville offers after school programming to children ranging from academic success and healthy lifestyles. The organization has served about 250 children a day since the school year started, Casteel said.

Casteel, who has been with the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville for five years, said she enjoys working with all children who are at the facility, which serves individuals in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Abby Stutesman, director of club operations, said the art studio allows children to focus on art, adding that the funding will allow the organization to hire an individual who can guide children through the process. The Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville also offers a variety of other programming activities with classes such as cooking, music and more, she added.

“(Children) have a freedom of choice,” Stutesman said. “Our goal is to provide a positive and safe environment.”

The organization also gives local youths an opportunity to socialize and gather with one another through different activities that are offered, according to Stutesman.

“They feel like they belong here,” she said. “They can come and appreciate each other.”

Research has also shown that offering arts programming like what is offered at the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville allows children to develop self-confidence and positively express themselves, board president Daryl Petry said.

“We are thrilled to receive the support from the Genesis Inspiration Foundation,” Petry said.

The funding from the foundation will allow children to be exposed to new art mediums as well, he added.

“Now more than ever, the importance of providing an arts program to youths is critical to their education and their mental needs,” Petry said.

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