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Panda Express and Boys & Girls Club open Panda Cares Center of Hope in Hazel Dell

The Columbian
Published: February 24, 2024, 5:40am

HAZEL DELL — In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Panda Express cut the ribbon for the newest Panda Cares Center of Hope at the Clinton and Gloria John Clubhouse on Jan. 31.

Panda Cares Center of Hope is a newly renovated space within the Hazel Dell club designed to deliver Project Learn, the platform that unites each Center of Hope. Project Learn is based on research showing that students do better in school when they spend their nonschool hours engaged in fun and academically beneficial activities.

The renovated space includes new furniture, a fresh coat of paint (including a chalkboard wall), a calm reading corner, and a large touchscreen tablet to be used for academic programming. New wall and ceiling panels help to absorb sound and create a space more conducive to learning.

Following the ribbon-cutting, the nearly 100 attendees enjoyed a photo booth and catered meal by Panda Express, and all youth were able to take home a bag filled with new books and a small stuffed panda.

In addition to the $45,000 in grant funds to create the Center of Hope, Panda representatives presented a $10,000 check to be used as college scholarship funds for youth at the Clinton & Gloria John Clubhouse.