$25k Grant from James M. Cox Foundation Brings Innovation Lab to Newport News Boys & Girls Club

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – (March 31, 2021) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula celebrated the launch of a new technology-filled Innovation Lab at its Crossroads Village Club, made possible by a $25,000-grant from the James M. Cox Foundation. The Cox Innovation Lab was welcomed with a virtual grand opening ceremony held by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula and Cox on Wednesday.

The donation is part of a $150,000 grant The James M. Cox Foundation provided to create five new Cox Innovation Labs across the nation. The Innovation Labs are the cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Club Tech program, which provides students access to the curriculum to advance their computer literacy skills. These Innovation Labs also help bridge the digital divide for children without access to a computer or internet connection at home.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula President & CEO Hal Smith stated, “We are so grateful for this amazing gift from the James M. Cox Foundation and our friends and corporate partners at Cox Communications. This gift will enable us to build upon our pillars of doing whatever it takes- and will allow us to help change the lives of so many of our kids, and in return, our communities. Not only will our kids be able to expand their knowledge during our “Power Hour,” daily time set aside to complete school work and receive help from tutors, but our kids will be able to build upon their knowledge in our STEM (science, education, math, and technology) programs with the 3D printers. For the past 75 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula has provided boys and girls with an inclusive and safe place to learn and grow, and has continued to offer life-enhancing programs and character development experiences. With this gift, we could not be more grateful to the James M. Cox  Foundation for investing in the lives of these amazing young people.”

“A reliable connection to the internet is more important now than ever before,” said J.D. Myers, II, region manager and senior vice president of Cox in Virginia. “We’re committed to ensuring our children are connected at school, at home, and right here at the Boys & Girls Club where so many children spend their afternoons. We look forward to the incredible achievements we’re going to see from all of these bright kids in the coming years.”

In addition to the Innovation Lab grant, Cox has made great strides in expanding broadband access in Virginia. Through community partnerships with organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, Connect2Compete (C2C), and CARES Act funding, Cox is moving the needle on bridging the digital divide for families and students in Virginia. In 2020 alone, Cox connected more than 5,000 students to a broadband connection through C2C.