(September 17, 2014) – KIPP Houston Public Schools' Southeast Campus will get a new natural turf football field, thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from the Houston Texans through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program.
The grant from the Texans, the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to KIPP Houston Public Schools' Southeast Campus is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year. This NFL Grassroots Program Grant is the ninth awarded in Houston, totaling $950,000.
"KIPP is dedicated to developing not only the intellectual habits of our students, but character strengths as well," said Daphane Carter, Head of Schools at KIPP Houston Public Schools. "The field becomes a laboratory in which the character lessons taught within the classroom can be applied to real life situations. At the same time, a student that may be struggling on the field quickly learns that consistent hard work and practice will lead to success. This is the same approach that students take in the classroom if they are struggling with reading or math."
The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program – a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation's leading community development support organization – has supported the construction or renovation of 290 football fields nationwide since 1998. During that time, the NFL Foundation has granted nearly $37 million to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. 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.
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
"These fields are useful in so many ways," said Michael Rubinger, LISC's president and CEO. "With them, local organizations can promote good physical fitness, teamwork, and community spirit – all critical elements of neighborhood health. The NFL Foundation has been a great partner in creating these essential community assets."
About the NFL Foundation
The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health and safety of athletes, youth football, and the communities which support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: www.NFLFoundation.org.
About Houston LISC
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) operates in 30 areas around the country, providing resources for neighborhood leaders and community based organizations to create strong and healthy neighborhoods. Houston LISC is proud to celebrate 25 years serving Houston communities. It has invested over $187 million in programs and real estate projects in Houston, leveraging over $443 million. This investment has created more than 6,500 affordable homes and apartments and 1.3 million sq. ft. of commercial, community and educational space, as well as helped thousands of people improve their financial health and strengthen their neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.lisc.org/houston.
KIPP was founded in Houston in 1994 and has since grown to 162 public schools in 20 states and DC serving 58,000 children. Houston is KIPP's largest region, with 22 public schools serving 11,000 students and an additional 1,000 alumni in college and beyond. While only eight percent of students from low-income communities across the nation graduate from college, KIPPsters boast a 50 percent college graduation rate, tracking from the 8th grade. www.kipphouston.org