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Dr. Megan Selman, Chief Executive Officer of the BGCARV (left) and Arkansas State Senator Breanne Davis, who worked with the Arkansas Legislative Council in support of the funding.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Arkansas River Valley (BGCARV) has received $344,000 in grant funding that will benefit hundreds of children across Pope and Yell Counties.

The funding decision was announced at the Arkansas State Capitol on Thursday, October 28, marking the final step in an eight month long application process. These funds will be used to provide evidence-based academic support in afterschool and summer programs that supplement school efforts in addressing lost learning. Additionally, funds will be earmarked to strengthen social-emotional and behavioral skills for kids who have struggled with issues exacerbated by COVID19, secure more opportunities for career preparation among teens who have been set back by economic impacts of COVID19, and supplement feeding programs that ensure better nutrition for youth in communities experiencing health inequities along socioeconomic lines.

“I am so incredibly proud and excited to share the news of this funding,” said Dr. Megan Selman, Chief Executive Officer of the BGCARV. “Eight months ago, I began the application process for this request alongside 20 other Boys and Girls Clubs in Arkansas. With support from Boys and Girls Clubs of America, we drafted a six million dollar proposal that would fund Boys and Girls Clubs doing important work across our state. Our portion of the funding is $344,000 which will be used to impact so many futures for so many youth in our community. It has been a long road, but Thursday morning the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC) gave approval to our funding request. This approval was the result of a huge collaborative effort from CEOs across the state and many members of our State Legislator as well as our Governor. Locally, our representation on the ALC is Senator Breanne Davis, who worked tirelessly in support of this funding initiative for local kids. I believe this award is a direction reflection of the great work our organizations are doing throughout the state and the trust that has been earned by local Clubs on task to fulfill our mission.”

Senator Davis added, “The Boys and Girls Club plays a crucial role in our community. This grant is well-deserved. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to work with the Governor’s office and our local Club on this request. The work our Club does will continue to impact local children and families, granting access to experiences and opportunities for generations to come.”

This announcement also coincides with the end of tenure for Selman, who has stepped down as BGCARV’s CEO. Selman said in closing, “Speaking on a personal note, I am elated to hand off this $344,000 piece of funding to the next leadership team at our Club, and I hope this helps set our organization up for even greater success in the future. It has been an incredible privilege to serve the community in this capacity for the past several years. I will miss the Boys and Girls Club tremendously, but I plan to continue working in my community for bright futures and increased opportunities for many years to come.”

If you would like more information on the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Arkansas River Valley you may contact them at 479-968-7819 or email meganselman.bgcarv@gmail.com