THE LA84 FOUNDATION EXPANDS THE #STAYACTIVESTAYSTRONG PROGRAM WITH THE COMPTON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT TO REACH MORE FAMILIES
Play Equipment distributions with CUSD launches June 18 at Rosecrans Elementary
LOS ANGELES (June 16, 2020) – The LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund have expanded the #StayActiveStayStrong program and free play equipment distributions across local communities by partnering with the Compton Unified School District to reach more kids and families. This program encourages healthful activities for young people, providing free equipment as well as videos from sports figures that provide encouragement for being active, as COVID-19 has limited organized opportunities.
The first equipment giveaway in Compton will be held Thursday, June 18 at Rosecrans Elementary, 1301 N. Acacia Ave., Compton, Calif., 90222, from 8am to 11am. It is one of seven Grab & Go food centers distributing play equipment in Compton. Many children and families don’t have access to play equipment, or the resources to stay active at home. In addition to the physical benefits activity brings, movement can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that can accompany the home confinement of the last several months.
“Since launching this program we have found that when kids are given this equipment and are provided with new opportunities to play, they are happier and excited to receive resources to be healthier,” said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation. “We will continue to work with our partners in as many communities as possible to build and support young people being active. The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone, physically and mentally. Together with the Compton Unified School District, we’re working to make sure the kids and families understand they are cared about, while promoting the many benefits of activity for their overall wellbeing.”
“I am thrilled that the Compton Unified School District and LA84 Foundation are partnering to bring this free sports equipment to kids and families, and the Sloane Stephens Foundation was excited to facilitate this partnership” said Sloane Stephens, professional tennis player and 2017 U.S. Open women’s singles champion. “Involvement in Compton that enhances the quality of life for youth and supports healthy lifestyle choices are crucial. This puts sports equipment right in kid’s hands to use, and it’s a chance for them to be excited after months of home confinement.”
“One thing that is difficult to ensure when school is out – especially now that we are coming off of months of virtual learning – is ensuring that our students get out and play,” said Micah Ali, President of the Compton Unified School District. “Their staying active is key to their physical as well as social and emotional wellbeing. We are grateful to the LA84 Foundation and to Sloane Stephens for partnering with us in making sure our students and families have access to play and its health benefits. What a joyful occasion indeed!”
Since April – in collaboration with Nike, Kole Imports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, WSS and Score Sports – the LA84 Foundation and Play Equity Fund have provided families and students of the Los Angeles Unified School District with thousands of free balls, racquet sets, jump ropes and other gear children can use to play at home. Recently there were also seven equipment distributions with the Catholic school meal centers of the Los Angeles Archdiocese and two with the Grab & Go food centers of the Pasadena Unified School District. The program is now growing significantly again to include seven Grab & Go meal distribution points in Compton.
The LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund continue to actively explore opportunities with distribution partners throughout the region to help more children and families, including during the summer months, with an added priority on playing safely to avoid any future spread of COVID-19.
Through the Sloane Stephens Foundation (SSF), Stephens has been integrally involved with CUSD and promoting activity since 2013. Her foundation’s “Love, Love Compton” program takes tennis into schools in a 16-week, after-school tennis and education program held on 19 campuses in the city, with weekend, recess, and summer programming and educational enhancements held in an additional six sites. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SSF has pivoted all programming to a virtual model.
To accompany the play equipment, the #StayActiveStayStrong program includes instructional videos featuring Olympic athletes, pro athletes and sports figures to guide and encourage all students and families. The videos are shared on the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation social platforms, and on PlayEquityFund.org. This series helps kids connect with the fun of sports and promotes playing at home.
Among others, the videos include Los Angeles Rams Coach Sean McVay and defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kike Hernandez, the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler, former Los Angeles Lakers’ player Michael Cooper, the LA Galaxy’s David Bingham, UCLA All-American gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, as well as Olympians Kyla Ross, Angela Ruggiero, Molly Schaus and Jordyn Wieber. There is a #PlayEquityChallenge on social media that encourages kids to join the exercises that each of the athletes introduce in their videos.
ABOUT THE LA84 FOUNDATION
The LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development. The foundation, with 35 years of on-the-ground experience, has supported thousands of Southern California youth sports organizations through grantmaking and funding facilities and fields of play, while also training coaches, commissioning research, convening conferences and acting as a national thought leader on important issues in the youth sports industry. LA84 levels the playing field to ensure all youth have access and opportunity despite economics, gender or ability, while elevating the field of youth sports as an integral pathway to lifelong well-being. To learn more and join the Play Equity movement, visit www.la84.org and @LA84Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT THE PLAY EQUITY FUND
A 501(c)3 public charity, the Play Equity Fund was established in 2014 to expand the work and impact of the private 501(c)3 LA84 Foundation. The Play Equity Fund focuses specifically on bringing the transformational power of sport and structured play to children, regardless of their zip code or socioeconomic status. To learn more about the Play Equity Fund, visit www.PlayEquityFund.org and follow @PlayEquityFund on Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT THE SLOANE STEPHENS FOUNDATION
The Sloane Stephens Foundation was established in 2013 by U.S. Open Champion Sloane Stephens to inspire children to dream big and achieve, on and off the tennis court. Through nationally recognized after–school curricula, college preparatory programs, and exciting tennis instruction, the Sloane Stephens Foundation offers underserved students the additional tools necessary to achieve in and out of the classroom while falling in love with a lifelong sport. The Sloane Stephens Foundation has served almost 6,000 students in the Compton Unified School District in programs across 25 campuses. To learn more, visit www.sloanestephensfoundation.org and follow @SloaneStephensFoundation on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.