Fleet Financial Group and United Way of Massachusetts have formally opened the first of 25 planned after-school tutoring centers in the Northeast. Fleet will contribute more than $500,000 to support the centers over the next three years.

The centers are designed to provide a safe haven where children age 7 to 15 can do homework with adult assistance and supervision as well as play sports and participate in arts and crafts.

Among the activities are computer training, mentoring, and parental education. Once completed, the network of centers will be the largest in the U.S.

United Way facilitated the program development for the tutoring centers as part of its "Keeping Kids on Track" initiative, to provide youth with the educational, social, emotional, and physical skills needed to become successful and productive adults.

In addition to its monetary donation, Fleet has contributed furniture, computers, and Team Fleet, its volunteer organization, which is donating time.

Once the program is fully under way, the 25 centers in states from New Jersey to Maine will be linked together, allowing the United Way to share data, experiences, and information in order to make the centers as effective as possible.

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