EAST PROVIDENCE — Though now firmly back in the school department budget, sports programs at the city’s middle schools are still receiving some much needed support from booster groups, including Project 106.
This spring, both the softball and baseball teams at Martin and Riverside Middle Schools have donned new game uniforms purchased with funds donated through the 106 organization.
“Since the conception of Project 106, we have stayed true to our mission of helping to support funding of sports programs within the East Providence Public Schools,” said Jessica Beauchaine, President of Project 106. “For the past two years, we have focused on middle school sports due to the previous elimination of sports at the middle school level. Since the reinstatement of middle school sports back in November, we have remained extremely active by working with the athletic director, principals and coaches to help supplement the sports teams.”
The athletes on the respective diamonds this spring haven’t been the only beneficiaries of Project 106’s work. During the 2012-13 term when middle schools sports weren’t budgeted, the group contributed thousands of dollars in transportation and umpire fees. In addition, basketballs valued at $390 were purchase for both middle schools as per requested by the school’s athletic director. Also brand new uniforms for Martin’s wrestling team ($900) were bought.
This year, the group donated $500 to Riverside’s competitive cheer team to help cover competition costs. A donation of $900 was used for the baseball uniforms at the two schools. And most recently, over $1,400 was donated towards new uniforms for the Riverside Middle School softball team and over $500 to the Martin softball team for new pants and belts to complete their outfits.
And last but not least, the group donated over 100 track/cross country uniforms to both schools. The uniforms were displayed at a recent school committee meeting and cost $1,700.
“I think it is important for community members and coaches alike to know where our fundraising money is going,” Ms. Beauchaine said. “However, none of this means anything without great coaches who commit their time and knowledge of the games to the young athletes and our schools.”
Of note as well, Project 106 was recently recognized by the state as an organization that has been helpful in funding middle school sports in East Providence. A commendation was presented to us by Representative Joy Hearn in the form of a legislative grant from former Speaker of the House Gordon Fox.
“Project 106 will continue to remain transparent, so we can play and active and approachable role in East Providence school sports programs,” Ms. Beauchaine added. “We will continue to run our school wide sweatshirts/sweat pants fundraiser and other community fundraisers as needed.”