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Awards add to $37 million committed since 1998, resulting in 290 neighborhood fields
Community organizations, schools and parks in 15 cities across the country will receive grants totaling $2.5 million to build or refurbish neighborhood fields through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program, it was announced today.
More than $37 million in grants have been awarded to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods since the NFL partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s leading community development organization, in 1998. For the past 15 years, Grassroots grants have supported the construction or renovation of more than 290 fields nationwide.
Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
The 2013 funding cycle will include new fields, or field enhancements, in Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Covington, KY; Green Bay, WI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Philadelphia, PA; and Seattle, WA.
“The NFL Foundation is pleased to continue its work with LISC in improving the quality, safety and accessibility of fields in communities nationwide,” said Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, Chairman of the NFL Foundation. “The revitalization of these fields will provide safe places for communities to come together, “Play 60” and enjoy the many benefits of sports participation.”
NFL CELEBRATES BARLEY SHEAF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WINNER OF NFL PLAY 60 BUS CONTEST
New York Giants and New York Jets Players Bring More Than $50,000 in New Playground and Equipment
The NFL PLAY 60 bus made a special stop today at Barley Sheaf Elementary School in Flemington, N. J. The school is this year’s winner of the national NFL PLAY 60 Bus Contest.
NEW YORK GIANTS players STEVIE BROWN and JAMEEL McCLAIN, along with NEW YORK JETS players DAVID NELSON, TANNER PURDUM, RYAN QUIGLEY, and KYLE WILSON in addition to members of the Jets Flight Crew, boarded the PLAY 60 bus to deliver $50,000 in new fitness equipment and a new playground to the elementary school, donated by the NFL.
“On behalf of the Barley Sheaf School community, I would like to thank the NFL for its generosity. It’s a delight to welcome such positive role models who take an active role in supporting education and the whole school community,” said Dr. Becky Hutto, Barley Sheaf School Principal.
Thousands of communities entered the NFL PLAY 60 Bus Contest by writing a short essay and submitting a photo on www.NFLRUSH.com, describing how the NFL PLAY 60 bus could help the youth in their town be more active.
The winning entry, submitted by a member of the school’s parent council, detailed Barley Sheaf Elementary School’s limited play space for children with special needs.
“Around 25 percent of the children that use this playground have special needs including cerebral palsy, autism and downs syndrome,” said parent teacher organization treasurer, Amy McKenna. “They need this playground to help with motor skills, perceptual skills, strengthening and most importantly, self-esteem and peer interactions.”
To help students of all abilities get active and PLAY 60, NFL players and Jets Flight Crew members led students through an NFL PLAY 60 PE class.
In addition to the event at Barley Sheaf Elementary School, the NFL sent special NFL PLAY 60 activity kits to runner-up schools and communities that entered the contest.
About NFL PLAY 60:
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $300 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 175 NFL Youth Fitness Zones and integrated programs into more than 73,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched. All 32 clubs activate PLAY 60 locally, with more than 2,000 NFL PLAY 60 events held annually. For more information, visit www.NFLRUSH.com/play60.
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