HUNTSVILLE, AL — One never knows who the next Neil Armstrong, John Glenn or Sally Ride is going to be, but children from The Harris Home for Children are going to get the chance to see if they have "the right stuff" thanks to Verizon Wireless.
Twelve children ages 9-12 from Harris Home's after-school program will attend the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's Space Camp from July 7-12 on scholarships donated by Verizon Wireless. The nation's largest wireless provider is covering all expenses - camp activities and materials, lodging, food, and even flight suits with name tags for the children.
"Practically every kid dreams about being an astronaut at some point during childhood," said Jim Davis, district manager, North Alabama, for Verizon Wireless. "We had a chance to provide these children with the opportunity to get that experience in a renowned program like Space Camp, and we found some very deserving children at Harris Home. To say we're excited about the scholarships is a huge understatement."
As part of the Space Camp's 20th anniversary celebration, Verizon Wireless secured 12 scholarships for the weeklong Space Camp. Scholarship winners were selected by Harris Home staff based on improvement in academics, behavior, and interpersonal/social skills.
Harris Home's after-school program, established in 1995, is a collaboration between Harris Home, Madison County Department of Human Resources and the
Huntsville City and Madison County School Systems. There are approximately 20 children in the program, the majority of whom are considered "at risk" youth. The program gives children an outlet for help with school subjects, interaction with other children and enrichment activities.
Space Camp activities include simulated Space Shuttle missions, IMAX® movies, training simulators (such as the one-sixth Gravity Chair), rocket building and launches, scientific experiments, and lectures on the past, present, and future of space exploration.
"Our children have been looking forward to this since the moment we told them about it," said Shafunda L. Holtzclaw, director, public relations & resource development for Harris Home for Children. "They likely would never have the opportunity to attend a program like Space Camp. It could be a dream-come-true for many of them, and it could foster new interests in math, science or in the space program for others. It's a wonderful gift Verizon Wireless has given to these children."
There will be a special luncheon for all children in the after-school program (and their guardians), Harris Home staff and Verizon Wireless employees at the Space Center prior to the start of camp. Lunch will be provided, and youngsters will be able to try out some of the training tools from Space Camp and participate in other activities.
About Harris Home for Children
Harris Home for Children, Incorporated, is a private, non-profit 501C (3) agency licensed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources as a foster care institution and child placement agency. Harris Home for Children is a multi-service agency that seeks to improve the quality of life for children between the ages of 6 and 18 who have experienced conditions of homelessness, abuse and neglect.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 30 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
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