The Bengals and the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program teamed up to contribute $250,000 to Activities Beyond the Classroom (ABC), who will install a synthetic turf field at South Avondale Elementary School.
The grant from the Bengals, the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is part of more than $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation's leading community development support organization, has committed nearly $46 million to the program since 1998, supporting 336 projects nationwide. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements including irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
"The Bengals are extremely pleased to continue our support of youth football and help Activities Beyond the Classroom build a new field at South Avondale Elementary that will serve the entire community," said Katie Blackburn, Bengals executive vice president. "We look forward to seeing the finished project and the positive impact this field will have on youth for years to come."
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.
"Safe recreation spaces for youth in Avondale is critical," said Kathy Schwab, Executive Director of LISC, Greater Cincinnati. "The neighborhood has a growing youth population and this new field will allow more community usage. We celebrate this new asset and couldn't be happier for all the opportunities it represents for the Avondale community."
"Activities Beyond the Classroom is grateful to the Bengals and the NFL for their support of this project," said Brian Leshner, Executive Director of ABC. "This new turf field will not only benefit the students at South Avondale Elementary, but will also enhance the entire community, providing a place for children and adults to come together to enjoy a wide variety of healthy activities."
Josh Hardin, Athletics Manager at Cincinnati Public Schools, added "We are very thankful for our continued partnership with Activities Beyond the Classroom and the Cincinnati Bengals and know that our students and community will benefit tremendously from this grant. With an emphasis to grow Athletics within our elementary schools this grant comes at a perfect time for our district and we are looking forward to the opportunities it will offer."
The grant is the latest in an ongoing program in which the Bengals and the NFL have coordinated to distribute $1.9 million to local schools for new fields. Other schools include Clinton-Massie High School, Covington Catholic High School, Deer Park Jr./Sr. High School, La Salle High School, Lockland High School, Oak Hills High School, Taylor High School, Withrow University High School and Midway Elementary School.
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, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: NFLFoundation.org.
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $16.2 billion to build or rehab more than 348,000 affordable homes and develop 56 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $48.5 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.