LAS VEGAS – A partnership between Panda Express and Boys & Girls Clubs of America has brought a new program providing a learning, engaging and growing environment for kids and teens to Southern Nevada. Representatives of both organizations joined local Boys Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada staff and youth for the ribbon-cutting event for the Panda Cares Center of Hope at the Donald W. Reynolds Clubhouse in Henderson. Panda Cares Center of Hope are spaces created to provide the resources and support club members need to develop their academic and life skills to succeed for a brighter future.
Panda Cares is the philanthropic foundation of Panda Express, and the opening of the new Center of Hope aligns directly with Panda Express’ commitment to foster academic success among Boys & Girls Clubs members across the country. It also complements Boys & Girls Clubs’ mission to help youth, particularly the most vulnerable, reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
The Donald W. Reynolds Clubhouse is one of 35 clubs nationwide to receive a Panda Cares Center of Hope. This newly renovated space within the Donald W. Reynolds Clubhouse is designed to deliver more joy, education, and critical social-emotional development to local communities. Project Learn, the platform that unites each Center of Hope, is a holistic strategy intended to reinforce and enhance what youth learn during the school day, while creating experiences that invite them to fall in love with learning. Rooted in social-emotional development, this program is based on research showing that students do better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun and academically beneficial activities. This Panda Cares Center of Hope is designed to meet the needs of club members and includes new multi-functional modular furniture, new art, and new technology for them to learn, engage, and grow.
“We’re so appreciative of our partnership with Panda Express and the Panda Cares Foundation,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “The Panda Cares Center of Hope is designed with the right tools and right atmosphere so that youth are both emotionally and physically in a good place with surroundings that are conducive to absorbing learning and educational programs.”
In addition to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, there were tours of the new center and various activities for club members, including games, making fortune tellers, creating colorful pandas, and, of course, Panda Express Orange Chicken, rice and fortune cookies. The Panda Express Prize Wheel was busy with youth spinning for Panda Express school kits, gift cards for meals, tote bags and notebooks; Pei Pei, the Panda Express stuffed animal; and packages of fortune cookies.
Local Panda Express employees have been volunteering at different clubs across Southern Nevada on a regular basis. As a surprise, local Panda Express Restaurants purchased holiday gifts for the 90 youth in attendance at the Reynold Clubhouse.