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Meet the 2017 Sports 4 Life Grantees

The Washington Inner City Lacrosse Foundation: Washington, DC

We are excited to introduce you to our new 2017 Sports 4 Life grantees. This year the Sports 4 Life program is serving an unprecedented 52 organizations with a commitment to increasing access to sport for girls of color in their communities. We welcome 37 new grantees to join 15 programs that have previously been awarded funding, including Woodcraft Rangers, DC SCORES, Girls in the Game, Figure Skating in Harlem and YMCA of Greater San Antonio. These community programs demonstrate how this national support can be used to grow sports participation for girls who are underrepresented in athletics. We have awarded $272,500 in funding to these 52 organizations this year, which will serve an estimated more than 12,000 middle and high school students. Keep reading to meet the 2017 grant recipients.

L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs: Hollywood, CA

L.A.C.E.R. Sport Stars program offers a wide variety of free organized sports activities. Students learn the importance of teamwork, good sportsmanship, fair play and how to develop healthy lifestyles. Girls are actively encouraged to participate in the afterschool sports program. An estimated 1,200 girls will be served by the program. Child obesity rates in the area are 26% and the population that is classified as overweight is 20%. Physical Education in the schools has been greatly reduced or eliminated. Grant funds will be used for coaches, transportation, referee and timekeeper stipends, sports equipment, uniforms and supplies.

Woodrow Wilson High School: Los Angeles, CA

Woodrow Wilson High School (WHS) Girls Soccer will build technical skills, leadership, self-confidence and perseverance through a program for female student-athletes. WHS Girls Soccer will be comprised of practice, strength and conditioning, “chalk talk” and yoga. Programs will run for 2 hours daily, Monday through Friday after school at WHS. Strength and conditioning training will be held twice a week. Objectives and measurable outcomes will be in place to drive the delivery of activities. A total of 50 girls will participate on the JV and varsity teams. The Sports 4 Life grant will fund coaching and instructor compensation, league and tournament fees, training balls and practice jerseys, yoga mats for each student and transportation costs.

Woodcraft Rangers: Los Angeles, CA

Woodcraft Rangers Girls Sport program currently support 1,200 girls in sport programs ages 11 through 18. Their program provides intense daily sport activities for girls 5 days a week (Monday – Friday) for up to 2 hours a day. All of their clubs are free of charge to youth and their families. Many of the youth they serve come from low-income families and attend Title I schools with diverse student populations. There are no tryouts to participate; just a desire to join in an atmosphere where everybody is welcomed. Their goal is to add another 300 girls for a total of 1,500. They will use the grant for equipment, uniforms and transportation to off-site sport tournaments and clinics.

Girls on the Run of the Bay Area: San Francisco, CA

Girls on the Run of the Bay Area (GOTR) inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident by using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates girls’ empowerment through running. They serve girls from third to eighth grade in five Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo), as an independent chapter since 2002 of Girls on the Run International. Their Heart & Sole program provides girls mostly of color ages 11-13 with opportunities to build their skills in teamwork, leadership and goal-setting through running. With this grant, they plan to reach an additional 60 Latina and African-American girls in San Francisco, South San Francisco, Oakland and Concord in their upcoming seasons. They will meet two times per week for 75 minutes each. The funds will help the Heart & Sole program at six sites and underwrite the staff support, curriculum fees, program supplies, healthy snacks, coach recruitment, training, program T-shirts, running shoes, facility rental fees and program transportation.

Sacred Heart Nativity Schools (SHNS): San Jose, CA

The SHNS Girls Softball Program practices 2 to 3 times per week for 2 hours each day. They help the girls develop knowledge in fitness, health, leisure time activities and the unifying principles, which lead to a lifetime of physical fitness. Girls experience increased confidence in their physical abilities and improved body image; enhanced camaraderie and team and school pride and improved physical fitness, including cardio and strength conditioning. Grant funds will be used for sports equipment, coaching stipends, facility rentals, batting cages and field, uniforms and transportation.

Netball America (Los Angeles): Westminster, CA

The Netball America-Los Angeles Be An Inspiration program takes girls who currently do not participate in physical activity.  It’s about inspiring them to achieve their goals.  This program provides a haven for girls to fight childhood obesity, share their concerns, dreams and participate in a team-oriented sport that allows each of them to participate regardless of their size or ability level.  The program is delivered twice weekly with 4 hours of contact. It includes professionals such as nutritionists and trainers to ensure correct nutrition and training regimens. Community leaders will also participate to help the girls understand opportunities that can exist for them.  Funding from the grant will be used to help with the cost of coaches, equipment, entry fees and transportation.

Pequeñas Ligas Hispanas de New Haven, Inc.: New Haven, CT

The Girls College-Bound Volleyball and Multi-Sport Program will provide instruction and competition opportunities in indoor and outdoor volleyball and other sports, including running, tennis, basketball, swimming, table tennis, softball, soccer and triathlon to 65 girls, ages 11-18. Their program will take place at school gyms, parks & outdoor athletic facilities in the City of New Haven year-round, and in collaboration with other New Haven educational, service, athletic and arts organizations.  Funding will be used to help with the cost for coaches, equipment, entry fees and transportation.

Norwalk Grassroots Tennis & Education: Norwalk, CT

NGTE provides free, year-round, comprehensive tennis and education programming to 500+ children who qualify for free and reduced-price. Based on the success of their younger Girls Club for U8 and U10, this funding will provide dedicated court time for their middle school girls to play tennis and receive leadership, life skills and social-emotional support specific to the issues they face, in a safe and nurturing space. Grant funds will specifically allow them to have access to additional indoor court time 1 or 2 times per week for 1.5-2 hours, and increase the total number of girls participating.

Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury, Inc.: Waterbury, CT

The Girls Youth Athletic programs provides Instructional basketball, and stay healthy youth initiatives.  Almost 80% of the participants are African-American females ages 13-17 years old. The program will operate twice per week, three hours each time for 27 weeks. Each three-hour session will be divided into one hour of basketball practice, one hour of basketball scrimmage and/or game and one hour of personal development. Grant funds will be used for facility fees, t-shirts, coaches and referees, travel and equipment.

DC SCORES, Washington, DC

Their Alumnae Team is designed to provide continuing soccer playing opportunities for low-income African-American and Latina young women. The Alumnae Team will play for 8 weeks in the spring and 8 weeks in the fall of 2017. They will provide a team of 30 girls with one weekly 90-minute practice, one weekly game and a spring break alumni tournament. Young women who choose to play for the Alumnae Team have a deep understanding of their sport-based youth development approach, using soccer as a tool to develop teamwork, leadership, and commitment. A Sports 4 Life grant will support coaching, bus transportation, supplies and the purchase of uniforms.

Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena: Washington, DC

Synchronized Skating is part of the Kids on Ice® (KOI) programs through the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena. What makes KOI unique is that its programs were founded to make ice sports accessible to all, no matter a participant’s socioeconomic situation. Their program runs weekly September through March. Skaters also participate in a week-long, full-day summer camp and special workshops during school closures. Weekly practices are 30 minutes of off-ice, including warm-up and fitness training, followed by 50 minutes of on-ice instruction. Fort Dupont Ice Arena is DC’s only indoor public ice arena. KOI has grown from 7 to 54 skaters and has a 95% retention rate. Funding will be allocated to coaching, ice time, costuming and supplies.

The Washington Inner City Lacrosse Foundation: Washington, DC

WINNERS Lacrosse has two priorities when planning any of its programs – teaching the girls all aspects of the sport of lacrosse and harnessing the life skills they learn on the field so they can bring them home and into the classroom. WINNERS accomplish their goals through coaching and mentoring.  Sportsmanship, respect, leadership and responsibility are a few of the goals of their program. The spring program is 12 weeks (3 days per week and 2 hours per day). Girls leave feeling confident they worked hard and are empowered to play a sport that is not known to many. WINNERS has stepped into the gap to provide a proven model of sports instruction, leadership and life skills development to benefit young people. WINNERS provide the opportunity to learn lacrosse and the life skills associated with playing a team sport to youth from at-risk areas of DC. Funding will be used specifically to help pay for coaching, lacrosse sticks, goggles, uniforms, t-shirts, reversibles, goalie pads, equipment and team supplies.

The Skills Center: Tampa, FL

Girls in Sports is an out-of-school time, sports-based youth development program that facilitates academic success, life skills and mentoring for girls ages 11-15. The Girls in Sports program supports academic achievement, social and emotional learning as well as leadership skills through the game of basketball with exposure to tennis and volleyball.  The program will be delivered for a total of 30 weeks, 2 hours a day, 3 days per week. The program is designed to actively utilize the natural life lessons that so consistently occur in sports from developing and reinforcing good character values to understanding group processing skills. They seek to create a culture where girls are nurtured, motivated and empowered through the power of sports. The grant will support training, transportation and tournament costs.

Coastal Outreach Soccer: Brunswick, GA

Coastal Outreach Soccer (COS): “Our Time” program delivers soccer training sessions daily at three public housing complexes and one centrally located field for girls not living in public housing. Each session varies in length from one and a half hours to two hours. The Our Time program is Coastal Outreach Soccer’s effort to create an environment to get girls involved in physical fitness, cultural enrichment and empowerment activities. COS has a development philosophy that places a focus on the girl’s development instead of winning games. Grant funds will be used for referees, travel expenses/tournaments, uniforms, sports bras, shin guards and cleats.

Campbell Junior Basketball Inc.: Smyrna, GA

Campbell Jr. Basketball Program is open to all girls that reside in the Campbell High School district that are interested in competitive basketball. They focus on all skill levels, from girls who have never played basketball to the experienced, seasoned athlete. Their demographic is over 90% African Americans with 100% of their program participants entering high school with none being held back. Each girl receives more than 10 hours per week of instruction and games. They have three girls’ teams totaling 40 girls instructed by nine coaches. They plan to expand the program so that the girls will have more time for instruction and less time to get into any trouble. Funding support will help pay for gym rental, equipment and uniforms for their growing program.

Chicago Youth Boxing Club: Chicago, IL

Chicago Youth Boxing Club (CYBC) is currently open Monday through Friday from 3pm-9pm year-long. CYBC programming follows a unique structure that includes daily boxing instruction, health and nutrition education, college orientation and work readiness training. CYBC recently launched the Lady Contenders Club, a boxing program for empowering Hispanic and African-American girls in the community. This program includes all the elements of CYBC’s regular programming with the additional support of a female mentor who engages in a social-emotional way. Sports 4 Life funding will assist CYBC by covering the cost share of hiring an additional female coach, taking the girls to boxing competitions and tournaments, nutritional education workshops and educational field trips.

Girls in the Game: Chicago, IL

Girls in the Game After School program provides underserved girls the opportunity to play sports, learn about healthy lifestyle choices and improve their leadership skills in a safe, non-competitive environment to learn and be physically active. Girls in the Game’s After School Program includes age-specific programming for elementary and middle school girls. Their program operates once a week for 90-minutes over three 10-week seasons throughout the school year. In 2017, Girls in the Game will provide programming at 40 different locations each week. Grant funds will help cover the costs of workshop supplies, transportation to and from program sites and program staff costs necessary to hold season three of programming for girls ages 11-13.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation: East St. Louis, IL

Winning in Life for Girls combines active living through sports and leadership development.  Participants will learn Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s 14 principles outlined in her “Willing in Life” (WIL) curriculum, which she used as a guide to become the world’s greatest female athlete.  They will teach 55, low-income African-American girls basketball and baseball.  Girls will receive a minimum of 4 hours per week for each sport and 2 hours per week of WIL. Grant funds will assist with the cost of uniforms, coaches and girls program fees.

Directed Initiatives for Youth, Inc. DBA Excite All Stars: New Orleans, LA

Excite Girls Rock! seeks to counteract the negative messaging girls receive through mentoring and an innovative youth development program built around sports and physical activity.  Participants learn to enjoy sports and physical activity, while taking pride in their accomplishments and resisting harmful social pressure, allowing them to grow into healthy and self-confident young women. Throughout the 8-week summer experience and the 12-week after school sessions, the girls make new friends, build confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique. Sports include rookie rugby, basketball, soccer, swimming and golf.  Physical activities include tai chi, pilates and yoga (PIYO), Zumba and dance.  The Sports 4 Life grant will fund program staff, equipment and transportation.

Merrimack Valley YMCA: Lawrence, MA

Smart Hoops promotes academic achievement and physical activity, and provides a place for teens to connect and engage in friendly competition on the basketball court. The Smart Hoops summer program, for rising 7th – 9th grade students, combines academics with athletics and is offered Monday through Thursday from 9:00am-6:00pm with field trips scheduled on Fridays. Grace Perry, founder of All Tech Team also focuses on a mentoring/entrepreneurship program. Participants take part in skill clinics and basketball games daily. Grant funds will be used for coaches, referees, equipment, uniforms and salaries for hired female staff.

Shooting Touch, Inc.: Norwood, MA

The G3 (Getting Girls in the Game) program provides girls, ages 11-15, with access to the sport of basketball coupled with off-court mentoring and health & wellness education. The G3 program uses the power of sport as a tool to face social issues by turning the basketball court into a classroom. They believe that “sport” is a language that anyone can speak and uses physical activity as the foundation for communicating the values and lessons of a healthy lifestyle. Shooting Touch is literally “getting girls in the game” helping underserved girls become empowered and to discover their true potential through the sport of basketball. The goal is to grow G3 participants from 75 girls to 150 girls. Grant funds will be used for recruitment activities to enroll more girls, program equipment and supplies.

The BASE: Roxbury, MA

The BASE provides year-round baseball and softball training and competition for African-American and Latino youth.  The BASE is a vehicle to promote health and wellness. They instill critical confidence, teamwork, self-esteem, leadership, perseverance, etc. In 2017, 250 girls will participate in local BASE leagues; state, regional and national tournaments on BASE teams; training and conditioning clinics; college showcases and more. Funding will assist with the cost of three part-time staff coaches, training and coaching players and volunteer coaches.

Parks & People Foundation: Baltimore, MD

Parks & People is Baltimore’s largest girl’s middle school sports provider outside of the public school’s own leagues for ages 11-14, offering four leagues – volleyball, soccer, lacrosse and baseball. Teams practice three days a week for two hours during each session, and games are played once a week. The program provides a haven and organized recreational activities in local green spaces beginning immediately after school until 6:00pm. The Sports 4 Life grant will help offset the cost of coach training for teacher-coaches enrolled in the program.

Soccer Without Borders; Baltimore, MD

Soccer Without Borders (SWB) has demonstrated success in providing positive sports-based youth development programs to newcomer youth in Baltimore. Their program includes 2 hours daily of after-school program for 4 days per week, in addition to in-school support services to participants. Their program provides life skill development and academic support through the engaging platform of soccer. All participating students are English Language Learners (ELLs), and SWB integrates language development into soccer and classroom activities.  Participants experience increased confidence and self-efficacy and positive relationships with peers and adults. In Baltimore, 100% of participants graduate high school. Program activities will all take place at the International High School at Langley Park (IHS-LP). Sports 4 Life funding will be used to provide resources to support transportation, program activity costs and program supplies.

Vista Maria: Dearborn Heights, MI

Vista Maria is one of Michigan’s oldest and largest private, residential treatment agencies for girls suffering from abuse, neglect and trauma. Most the girls served by Vista Maria’s residential programs are between the ages of 11-18, are low-income from the City of Detroit who have histories of severe sexual or physical abuse and neglect, mental illness, cognitive impairment, substance abuse, poor academic performance and unresolved grief. Their soccer, basketball and swimming programs help to add fun into physical activity and contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of youth receiving mental health treatment and therapy on Vista Maria’s 37-acre campus. Funding will allow Vista Maria to hire professional instructors, purchase equipment and uniforms.

Fairview Foundation: Minneapolis, MN

Fairview Health Services’ GIRLS Program provides culturally appropriate basketball programming to East African girls ages 11 to 18 in the Minneapolis neighborhood of Cedar Riverside. The Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports (GIRLS) basketball program is offered each Wednesday (two hours) and Sunday (three hours) at the Brian Coyle Community Center, located walking distance from Cedar Riverside’s subsidized rental housing where most program participants live. The program is year-round, except for the month of Ramadan and holidays. Programming is offered on a drop-in basis and is only open to girls. In addition to the basketball program, Fairview offers weekly swimming and nutrition programming. A partnership with the Three Rivers Park District provides monthly outdoor experiences for participants, including rock climbing, fishing and archery. Funding will provide uniforms and water bottles for participants, as well as covering the cost of coaches and gym rental.

Darden Enlightment Center: Farmville, NC

Darden Enlightment Center is a youth empowerment agency that works with kids that have been deemed as high-risk for some form of life failures, 98% of their clientele are African-Americans and Hispanic children, which has proven to be two of the most underserved populations. Their agency is seeking to establish a community-based all girl sports program for Hispanic and African-American girls between the ages of 11-18. Their proposed program will be year-round in which all participants will meet five days per week for 4 hours per day. Three of the days will be physical practice (all games will take place on the weekends) and two of days will be for academic support and growth, which will include hands on curriculum. Varied activities will include karate, volleyball, tennis, cheerleading, basketball, soccer and running. Funding will go towards equipment, transportation, uniforms and facility rentals.

Girls Youth Basketball: Henderson, NV

Girls Youth Basketball (GYB) is focused on the growth of girl’s youth basketball. GYB was created to empower and encourage girls on the court and in life. All Girls Basketball Program runs two seasons during the year. They provide free camps and clinics for all the girls in the community. They are looking to expand summer and winter monthly workshops, clinics, training sessions and camps for all girls third to eighth grade, divided into age and skill appropriate groups. Grant funds will be used to pay for gym fees for games and practices, referee fees, score keepers, uniforms and equipment.

Children’s Aid Society: Bronx, NY

The afterschool program at CS219 desires to split their co-ed basketball team into separate boys and girl’s teams to increase female participation in basketball. The program includes two one-hour practice sessions per week and one mandatory study hall for the entire team where tutors support students in completing their homework and keeping their grades up. Children’s Aid Society will take full responsibility for delivering services. The Sports 4 Life grant will fund the creation of a separate girls’ basketball team, including additional coaching hours, additional supplies and materials, girl’s uniforms, travel fees and game/tournament fees.

Ballin Out Loud, Inc.: Brooklyn, NY

The program immerses young girls in the tenets of basketball – teaching them core competencies to become proficient in the game. The program stresses honor, hard work and sportsmanship. The Ballin Out Loud Program for girls is delivered on a weekly basis for a total of 40 weeks out of the year. Their program is run through basketball clinics, tournaments, showcases and academic assistance activities. Each girl can experience the positive effects of playing a team sport like self confidence in ability, pride in good sportsmanship and camaraderie. The program collaborates with area parks and schools to deliver the program in terms of facilities and playing space. Funds will be used for T-shirts, equipment and program fees.

BRIDGE THE GAP YOUTH INC.: Brooklyn, NY

The Bridge the Gap sports program meets with participants three days a week. Two days are used for player development where participants spend two hours a day training with the coaching staff. The third day is an active play day where participants engage in team-structured league play. When the girls enter the program, they become part of a supportive environment that incorporates active participation from other players, parents and spectators. The existing leagues offer girls key opportunities to develop leadership skills by rotating the team captain position; they foster self-esteem by providing positive feedback and reinforcement; they inspire confidence by introducing specific ways of measuring success against one’s own improvement; and they teach perseverance by demonstrating ways to meet short-term and long-term goals. The Sports 4 Life grant will fund basketball uniforms, softball uniforms and soccer uniforms. It will also offset costs related to tournaments and the purchase of equipment for the new baseball, flag football and soccer programs.

PowerPlay NYC: Brooklyn, NY

PowerPlay’s STARS Series After-School Programs provide elementary and middle school girls with the opportunity to learn fundamental skills in a variety of sports. PowerPlay advances the lives of girls in New York City, helping them grow physically, emotionally and academically stronger. They create opportunities for girls age 6-21 by partnering with schools and CBOs to conduct after-school and summer programs that emphasize physical fitness and education. Using sports as their hook, they build girls’ confidence and resiliency from the inside-out and create safe spaces where girls learn from each other and from strong female role models. Their programs take place during the after-school hours once or twice a week for 32 weeks. Each session begins with 60-90 minutes of sports activities, followed by 30-45 minutes of interactive discussion using the GoGirlGo! curriculum. Funds will be used for coach wages and purchasing program supplies to serve girls ages 11-18.

Inspirational Triathlon Racing International (i-tri): East Hampton, NY

i-tri is an inclusive, community-based program that fosters self-respect, empowerment, confidence, positive body image and healthy lifestyles for adolescent girls through a fitness and self-esteem based curriculum. Completing the triathlon helps them to realize they can do difficult things, forge relationships, strengthen communication skills and most importantly, believe that they are worth all this effort. Girls participate in a multi-faceted program that provides over 200 hours of programming. Over the course of six-months, the girls experience a variety of activities that help to build self-esteem and foster positive body image. This program is offered free-of-charge to all participants including all the equipment and transportation they require. Their program runs from February to July. Funding will help bring the program to William Paca Middle School in the William Floyd School District and will be used for equipment, uniforms, swimsuits, running shoes, race belts and supplies.

Row New York: Long Island City, NY

Row New York requests funding to expand its comprehensive rowing, fitness and academic activities for underserved young women in grades 6-12 to a new program site in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Six days per week their programs focus on whole child development, including rowing and athletic conditioning 750 hours for middle school students, and 1,000 hours for high schoolers each year to prepare student-athletes for competition, improve health and fitness and reinforce skills like persistence and teamwork. Students travel to regattas throughout the year, and youth who do not know how to swim receive free swim lessons. They partner with the Girls’ Education, Fitness and Empowerment Exchange on programming.  The Sports 4 Life grant will fund program expenses including rowing equipment purchases and maintenance, team uniforms and swim lessons for girls who do not know how to swim.

Harlem Lacrosse: New York, NY

Harlem Lacrosse (HL) programming empowers students to achieve their potential and break the cycle of poverty by providing daily study halls, mentoring, push-in academic support, and vigorous, character-building lacrosse instruction.  Middle school students from the communities and schools that HL serves lack access to quality extra-curricular options, especially after-school, on weekends and throughout the summer.  The purpose of HL is to improve the lives of middle school students from low-income areas of New York City, Baltimore, Boston, and Philadelphia through daily academic and behavioral intervention, leadership training and competitive lacrosse.  A Sports 4 Life grant will help purchase athletic equipment and safety equipment.

Figure Skating in Harlem, Inc.: New York, NY

Using figure skating as the hook, Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH) draws girls from underserved New York City communities into their ICE: I Can Excel after school program and Summer Dreams camp, where they can spend over 250 hours engaged in sport and fitness programs to improve their health through regular exercise and develop life skills like perseverance, responsibility, teamwork and leadership. From October-May, girls spend 2-4 afternoons and 3-7 hours/week on ice and in July-August they spend 4 afternoons and 6-8 hours/ week on the ice. They measure progress with U.S. Figure Skating’s Basic Skills tests and emphasize that each on-ice success models how they can set and reach goals in life.  Through their programs, FSH is interested in serving 120 black and Latina girls ages 11-18. Sport 4 Life grant will be used to give more girls more skating opportunities than ever before and setting a strong foundation in New York City as they lay the groundwork for the next 20 years expanding to Detroit. Funding would support expanded sports opportunities for girls of color in its award-winning program combining sports and education to promote girls’ positive development, specifically ice time.

America SCORES Cleveland: Cleveland, OH

America SCORES is an innovative sports-based youth development program that has impacted 249 girls in the third through eighth grade yielding measurable gains in fitness, literacy and social-emotional competencies. Funding will be used to add 76 additional girls during the summer of 2017 and during the 2017-2018 school year. Funding will also be allocated towards soccer coach stipends to run programming afterschool and summer camps, supplies, events and travel expenses.

Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation: Oklahoma City, OK

The Youth Rowing League (YRL) is committed to providing a non-traditional sports experience to at-risk youth of Oklahoma City’s Title I middle schools and high schools. The schools serve predominantly African-American and Hispanic youth. Each school receives training three hours a week for 12-weeks in the fall semester and 12-weeks in the spring semester. Currently, there are no organizations or community partners that are involved in delivering the YRL program. A grant will help with the cost of staff, transportation, safety equipment, safety training, regatta expenses and uniforms.

Tennis Central: Lancaster, PA

Tennis Central proposes to reach 200+ urban middle and elementary school girls and expose them to the social, health and psychological benefits of the sport of tennis as well as to further enhance their confidence and character. Any urban youth that qualify for the free lunch program participate in all Tennis Central programs at no charge.  Funding will reach 200+ middle and elementary school girls 2 times a week for 4 weeks after school. This will be followed by a Summer ACES program that runs Monday-Friday, June 12th-July 28th for 60-90 minutes a day. Sessions will include discussing a character building trait, aerobic & anaerobic fitness, body coordination skills, & goal setting.  The programs intent is to peak the girls interest in tennis and to see the social, health and psychological benefits so that they will want to continue. Interested girls may continue into an extended teaching program offsite for four more weeks in the fall at no cost to them in order to further enhance their skills and character building. Grant funds will be used for paying instructors, bus rental for college visits, transportation, equipment and incentives.

Team Up Philly: Narberth, PA

Team Up Philly has been operating programs for under-served girls in Philadelphia for over 10 years. Their model combines sports, character development and leadership training, nutrition education and academic support with long-term mentoring. They meet weekly for up to 2 hours, with games and team-building outings added. They will pilot a new program for 28-30 weeks, with a minimum commitment of 3 years to ensure the first girls receive full program benefit. They bring in fitness, nutrition and mindfulness trainers as part of their mission to empower girls to lead confident, healthy and successful lives. After the first year, they will look at adding tutoring and including more girls in summer camps. Funding will help to pay for coaches, supplies, materials and transportation as well summer camp expenses.

Down the Line and Beyond; Philadelphia, PA

Down the Line and Beyond’s (DTLB) primary goals are to introduce youngsters, the vast majority of whom have little to no access to organized athletics, including tennis. DTLB programs have simple, yet transformational goals: to get children to enjoy exercising in a new activity, to teach them tennis, and, most importantly, to help them develop the positive attitudes and behaviors, such as good sportsmanship, self-discipline, integrity and respect for others and themselves, which will benefit them throughout their lives. Sports 4 Life funding will provide a free 7-week Summer Tennis Camp program offered to children from the very under-resourced Poplar Park neighborhood of North Philadelphia. They will also be using the funds to support the girl’s high school tennis team at Bodine High School, who will also be working with them in the summer. This will be their first season with funding for their tennis program. Funds will be used entirely for the supplies and coaches needed to run the programs.

Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation: Philadelphia, PA

The After-School Excellence program runs during the school year seven days a week at inner-city rinks throughout Philadelphia & South Jersey. Their program is two-fold and combines educational, life skills and nutrition initiatives with a first-rate hockey program. Students participate in sessions 3 to 4 times per week. Hockey instruction occurs during practices 60 minutes long and is held from 3-8:00PM.  Summer camps are held on a weekly basis and operate from 9AM – 4:30PM. Programs are delivered at no cost. Funding will support ice rental, equipment costs, bus transportation and field trip fees for its participants.

Girls on the Run Philadelphia: Philadelphia, PA

Heart & Sole (H&S), the middle school program offered by Girls on the Run, is a transformational physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls in 6th through 8th grade. Heart & Sole uses running as a platform to encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Throughout the 10-week, 20-session season the girls participate in discussions, activities, running games and workouts that creatively engage them in lessons. The “Girl Wheel” is used as the foundation for each lesson and each 90-minute practice explores different parts of the wheel.  The season culminates with participants being physically and emotionally prepared to participate in a celebratory 5K event. Grant funds will help with the cost of program materials, entry fees, t-shirts, water bottles and running shoes.

MVP360 Leadership Development Programs, Inc.: Philadelphia, PA

Their goal is to establish a Girls Softball Travel Team as their foundation. With funding, they will also introduce other sports and leadership programs. MVP360 specializes in working with youth who are not athletic, have no interest in competitive sports and/or cannot afford traditional leagues. Their focus is on the youth who is struggling, lacks interest or simply is unmotivated to stay involved. Funding will be used for equipment, uniforms, facility rental and tournaments.

Olivet Boys & Girls Club: Reading, PA

Since inception, Boys & Girls Clubs have traditionally been known for their intramural sports programs.  These core programs, such as basketball, baseball and softball, are often fondly reminisced about in alumni circles and are often the largest draw for participation, especially for teens.  Softball programs, especially at a community level, can make a huge difference in the path that the child takes in life, and an even larger role in the development of that child’s confidence and mindset in everyday situations. Their softball programs have their own field, and teams have access to the field five days a week, with practices alternating with games.  During the summer of 2016, Olivet Boys & Girls Club brought together young female Club members to form a softball league that would teach not only the skills of the game, but also important life lessons.  In 2017, they look to expand the program. Funding will be used for coaches, referees and travel to and from games and tournaments and uniforms.

YMCA of Greater San Antonio: San Antonio, TX

The YMCA is committed to helping girls learn, grow and thrive. The YMCA of Greater San Antonio girls’ volleyball and basketball league serve as a haven for girls in marginalized communities, providing them with the tools and support to succeed in school and life. Grant funds will be used for materials and equipment for the girls’ volleyball and basketball programs at Davis-Scott and Westside YMCA.

TrailsforYouth.Org: Springfield, VA

TrailforYouth.Org provides a pathway of programs for underserved low-income primarily Hispanic kids to learn and engage in outdoor recreation.  Partnering with title-1 elementary schools, the program provides weekly after-school clubs that teach healthy outdoor activities such as hiking, running, biking and kayaking. By overcoming obstacles on the trails, they gain confidence and skills that help them defeat obstacles in their daily lives, providing a boost in overall health and self-esteem. The Girls Biking the Path to Empowerment program, funded by Sports 4 Life, will be allocated towards providing support for equipment, race fees and transportation to support girls ages 11-18.

Skate Like a Girl: Seattle, WA

In 2017, Skate Like a Girl will use funding to expand school-based enrichment skate programs to reach 4 new sites in 2 Seattle neighborhoods, White Center and Central District, that serve predominant communities of Latina and African-American girls. They will increase their current capacity of 8 school-based enrichment programs to 12, as well as increase services to schools with majority populations of African-American and/or Latina students. Each program will meet at a minimum once a week, for a minimum of 2 hours for each class. Funding would be allocated for an Up2Us Coach Across America staff person for 900 hours, 30 sets of reusable skateboarding gear and CPR/First Aid training for their coach.

The Mountaineers: Seattle, WA

Mountain Workshops introduces nearly 1,000 youth to climbing each year. Through partnerships with Young Women Empowered and Beacon Interagency Academy, they will introduce Hispanic and African-American teen girls to the climbing sport. Indoor climbing is growing rapidly, particularly among urban youth. The Mountaineers will engage up to 35 girls total (separated in two groups by organization) with opportunities to indoor and outdoor climb. Sports 4 Life will help fund transportation, climbing gym fees, rental costs and equipment as well as program staff.

America SCORES Milwaukee: Milwaukee, WI

SCORES provides girls with a five-day-per-week program that promotes healthy and active lifestyles. Operating at multiple program sites throughout Milwaukee’s urban neighborhoods, SCORES girls are engaged in soccer practices (twice per week), one weekly game (each Friday), as well as two days of classroom activities. The program, which runs 20 weeks during the school year, allows girls to translate the teamwork they’ve learned through sports into academic and service-learning workshops, allowing them to see the significant potential they have across various platforms. Programming is led by caring female coaches who are uniquely equipped to make personnel connections and promote self-esteem, positive body image, build leadership skills and foster personal and academic successes. Grant funds will be used for uniforms, soccer equipment, transportation and coach stipends.

Tamarack Waldorf School: Milwaukee, WI

Grade 5-11 students can play after school sports. They compete against other Milwaukee school teams, traveling in the greater Milwaukee area. Team sports include basketball for grades 5-11 and volleyball for grades 5-8. At Tamarack Waldorf School, every student makes the team. Their sports curriculum and after-school activities adapt a holistic approach to teaching sports to students. Their current volleyball and basketball programs run for 10 weeks each, and are delivered upwards of 3 times a week for 3-4 hours. Girls play one game a week. Funding will allow them to expand their sports program and create new opportunities that could not be done without support. Grants funds will be used for sports equipment like stop watches, soccer balls, sports uniforms, practice facility rentals and help pay participant registration fees.

Meet Our 2016 Grantees >>