LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Aspiring soccer players in Los Angeles will have a unique new place to hone their skills thanks to a $15,000 Let’s Play Mini Pitch grant from Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), KaBOOM! and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. The grant enabled Beyond the Bell to install an acrylic soccer mini-pitch that will provide a safe place for children to play, to learn and to grow. A grand opening event for the new pitch is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 3:45 PST.
This grant was made possible through Let’s Play, an initiative of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, to provide the tools, resources and inspiration for children and families to be active. The U.S. Soccer Foundation, through its Safe Places to Play program, and in partnership with KaBOOM!, is focused on bringing small-sided soccer-specific play spaces to urban, underserved communities nationwide.
“The opportunity that these mini pitches will give the students and surrounding community of Muir Middle School in South Los Angeles to play the beautiful game, comes at a perfect time,” said Howard Serpas, Program Coordinator at the Los Angeles Unified School District. “These gorgeous fields bring light to a student body who is rich in energy and anxious to show the positive impact that can be accomplished when great organizations like Dr Pepper Snapple Group, KaBOOM!, U.S. Soccer Foundation and the LA Galaxy take initiative and give back to our communities. Thank you all for your generosity and thinking of the students in Los Angeles Unified Schools District.”
The core mission of Beyond the Bell is to in collaboration with community partners, Beyond the Bell ensures that all children and youth in the LAUSD have access to high quality, safe, and supervised education, enrichment, and recreation programs that engage and inspire learning and achievement beyond the regular school day. The Let’s Play Mini Pitch grant seeks to strengthen and revitalize the community by providing a beautiful space for the youth and adults of the community to play soccer.
“Many of the top soccer players in the world fell in love with the game in back yards, dirt roads, and paved streets – any open space big enough for a goal,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Building these mini-pitches grew out of the idea that, even with minimal resources, we can create safe places for children to play and invest in introducing the next generation to the world’s game.”
Created in 2011, Let’s Play provides the tools, places and inspiration to make play a daily priority. The initiative began with a three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive. Through the first three years, they built 41 playgrounds, with more than 2,300 DPS employees contributing nearly 19,000 volunteer hours in the construction, and provided grants ranging from $500 to $30,000 for the improvement of another 2,004 playgrounds by the end of 2013.
Visit Let’s Play at www.LetsPlay.com to join the conversation and learn how to apply for the various available grants to make communities more active and playful.
About Beyond the Bell
Beyond the Bell Branch (BTB) is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest school district in the nation. The boundaries spread over 720 square miles and include the mega-city of Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities plus several unincorporated sections of Southern California. BTB offers award winning out-of-school time (before and after school and Saturdays) programs at the elementary, middle, and high school level to more than 100,000 students every day. BTB’s mission is to ensure that all children and youth in LAUSD have access to free, high quality, safe, and supervised academic, enrichment, and recreation programs that inspire learning and achievement beyond the regular school day. For more information visit www.btb.lausd.net or TWITTER @BTBLA
About Let’s Play
Let’s Play is an initiative launched in 2011 by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to provide the tools, places and inspiration to make play a daily priority. By 2017, DPS will provide nearly 10 million children across North America with new opportunities to play and be active through Let’s Play. In partnership with the nonprofit organizations KaBOOM! and Good Sports, Let’s Play is working to eliminate the ‘play deficit’ by building and improving play spaces and providing grants for athletic equipment and gear. For more information, please visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.
About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 13 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 or No. 2 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott’s, Mr & Mrs T mixers, Peñafiel, Rose’s, Schweppes, Squirt and Sunkist soda. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit www.DrPepperSnapple.com. For our latest news and updates, follow us at www.Facebook.com/DrPepperSnapple or www.Twitter.com/DrPepperSnapple.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. Since its founding in 1994, the organization has provided more than $100 million in funding to create and sustain innovative programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Proven to deliver positive health and social outcomes, the Foundation’s affordable initiatives offer safe environments in which both boys and girls thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.
Beyond the Bell