BALTIMORE –The Living Classrooms Foundation will receive a $200,000 grant from the Baltimore Ravens as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program, it was announced Wednesday.
The grant, awarded by the Ravens, the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment grants this year. It will be used to help build a new synthetic surface football field at City Springs Park in Washington Hill in Baltimore City. The field will be used by more than 2,000 youth each year. Other upgrades include the installation of a score board, goal posts and new fence.
"We strive to make projects like this a main focus of our community enrichment efforts," said Ravens president **Dick Cass**. "This field will provide a top-quality, safe environment for numerous area youth to stay active through the sport of football."
The NFL Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Youth Football Fund and LISC, the nation's leading community development support corporation, has resulted in the construction or renovation of 170 football fields nationwide in the past decade. In the last 11 years, the NFL Youth Football Fund has granted over $25 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.
"These fields help us make an impact where assistance is most needed and provide a tangible sign of our Youth Football Fund in action," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who also is a member of LISC's national board of directors. "We are proud to support projects that give youngsters a safe place to play and bring families and neighborhoods together."
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, neighborhood-based agencies which have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and parks in underserved neighborhoods. Through the program, the local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their neighborhoods. The local agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
"At LISC, we are focused on helping distressed communities become good places to live, work, do business and raise families," said Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO. "We call it Building Sustainable Communities, and developing sound recreational opportunities is a key piece of our work. The NFL has been a committed partner in helping make that happen."
About the NFL Youth Football Fund
Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund seeks to use football as a catalyst to promote positive youth development, support youth and high school football needs nationwide and also ensure the health of grassroots football in future generations. Through the YFF's initiatives and support programs, youngsters are provided with opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors.
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $9 billion to build or rehab more than 244,000 affordable homes and develop 36 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $28 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.