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Time Warner Cable Funds Robotics Program

Time Warner Cable recently donated $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley to help fund the organization’s afterschool robotics program as part of its Connect a Million Minds initiative. The grant money will fund Robo Tech, an afterschool program designed to expose students to robotics by working with Lego Mindstorms, premade kits that include materials and tutorials, under the tutelage of a robotics instructor. Club members ages 6 to 13 work in groups to build a robot that can interact with their environment. “The kids love it. I think they really like working with their hands,” said Jan Sobel, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley. The program is offered at all seven of the group’s locations. Sobel said the money will help pay the instructor for the program, something that the organization might not have been able to do without the grant. “It’s important because you really need to have that human touch,” Sobel said. Time Warner’s program is a five-year, $100 million campaign to fund STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs across the country. “We look for a particularly unique program that can make a difference and instill a love of STEM in kids,” said Kate Beardsley, Time Warner Cable’s community relations manager. Time Warner Cable previously donated to the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley in the 2009-2010 school year. Organizations that offer similar nonprofit afterschool programs fostering STEM education can apply at any time for a similar grant through Connect a Million Minds’ website, and applications are reviewed each month. All organizations are eligible for a repeat grant, according to Beardsley. Rotary Sponsors Library Upgrades Students from Woodland Hills Academy returned this school year to a refurbished library with new chairs and books thanks to the Rotary Club in Woodland Hills. The Club combined funds from its own group, matching grant funding from the Rotary District office and a $2,500 private donation to contribute $10,000 to overhaul the public school’s library. The project took several months with the donation being given in stages to purchase the new books and chairs for the library. Prior to the project, many of the chairs had been taken from the library for use in classrooms. Rotary Club members say they intend to keep an eye on the library and ensure that it stays on track and maintained from now on. “Rather than letting it get to that point again, we decided it would be a good idea to check in every so often,” said Gwyn Petrick, community chair for the group. The Body Shop Supports Food Drive The Body Shop partnered with the City of Palmdale’s South Antelope Valley Emergency Services to sponsor a food drive Sept. 22 at the retailer’s Antelope Valley Mall location. SAVES provides basic necessities to low-income and displaced residents in the Antelope Valley area, including food and motel vouchers. The department is currently campaigning to gather 50,000 pounds of food this year, coinciding with the city’s 50th anniversary. “Our community has been extremely generous in their donations of food and finances and are helping to provide support to members of our community who are struggling to meet their basic needs,” said Patricia Morales, SAVES coordinator, in a prepared statement. Customers who brought a can of food to the store were given a free makeover with products from The Body Shop. Chase Grant Funds Area Charities Four area nonprofits were among the 196 recipients of grant funding through the 2012 Chase Community Giving program. Nearly 30,000 charities were nominated for grants as part of the program, which gives donations to the charities who received the most votes through an online polling system. Each of the winning charities will receive a portion of the $5 million JPMorgan Chase is donating through the program. The program received over 1.5 million votes cast for participating charities, said Kimberly Davis, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, in a prepared statement. St. Francis Children’s Fund in North Hollywood and Animal Rescue Media & Education in Valley Village each will receive $50,000. St. Francis works to help impoverished children and their families in the Philippines. ARME saves homeless animals and produces documentaries spotlighting animal abuse. Rescue Train of Studio City and Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita each will receive $10,000. Rescue Train focuses on ending animal euthanasia and sponsors pet adoptions. The conservation center is focused on researching and the propagation of the endangered ape. Staff reporter Kelly Goff can be reached at kgoff@sfvbj.com or (818) 316-3135.

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