Over 50 rising tennis stars (and their cheering sections) gathered at Hampton Racquet in East Hampton, ready for some fierce volleys, during the 2017 Hampton Cup Junior Tournament on Saturday, August 26. The charity tennis event supported Project MOST, who was celebrating the debut of its new Give a Student the MOST initiative.
“Today is such an important day because our New York State Advantage After School grant funding, which is 43 percent of our budget, is slowly starting to be discontinued, and so Give a Student the MOST is our new initiative to ask individuals, businesses, and foundations to give back to the community by sponsoring a child or one of our student leaders,” Rebecca Morgan Taylor, Project MOST Executive Director, told us. “Our student leaders are the high school and college students who work in our after school program every day. It’s a yearlong initiative and we hope that everyone jumps on board.”
In last year’s budget, funding for The New York State Advantage After School Program declined by $2.5 million. Project MOST has two grants through the Program, one for $237,500 that supports elementary programs and a second for $137,500 that supports Springs School 3rd through 8th graders. Give a Student the MOST will help Project MOST reduce and possibly even eliminate its reliance on these grants.
“It is so meaningful and essential to the year-round, local families who are working, many of them are working two, three jobs, and are just trying to be able to live in this area. We all love living in this area,” she noted. “There’s all different kinds of reasons why we’re here, but Project MOST gives the families the opportunity to work later hours.”
Since it was established 17 years ago, Project MOST has served over 6,000 children and their families.
“Their kids are in an environment where they’re being engaged and enriched,” she shared. “The program provides academic assistance to the students, as well as some quality enriching programs like yoga to dance to art.”
Students who attend Project MOST increase their learning time by 35 percent, which leads to an improved performance in science, math, engineering, technology, language arts, and the arts.
“It number one: helps the families while the parents are working,” Morgan Taylor added. “Number two: the children are in a safe environment while they’re continuing to learn. The school day is not ending at 3 p.m. It’s continuing for another 3 hours, where the kids are being enriched and engaged.”
Through Give a Student the MOST, you can sponsor a student for $2,000, which allows a student to attend the Project MOST After School program for one year, or sponsor a student leader for $5,000, which allows the student/group leader to be a Project MOST mentor for a year. Project MOST is the top employer of students in East Hampton, offering 45 high school and college students “real life” employment and mentoring opportunities. Student leaders also receive career and college counseling.
For more information about Project MOST, visit www.projectmost.com.