KANSAS CITY, MO – Aspiring soccer players in Kansas City, Mo. 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 Kansas City Public Schools 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 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 at J.A. Rogers Elementary School, 6400 E. 23rd St., Kansas City, Mo.
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.
“This new soccer pitch going to help more of our children become healthy adults who will make a positive impact on their communities,” KCPS Interim Superintendent Allan Tunis said. “We’re very grateful to Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, KaBOOM! and the U.S. Soccer Foundation for partnering with KCPS to build this outstanding facility and give our students this opportunity.”
Kansas City Public Schools is dedicated to graduating students that are college, career, and workforce ready. This mission is supported by innovative classroom instruction, engaging programs, highly qualified employees, and an engaged and well-informed community. 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 Kansas City Public Schools
Kansas City Public Schools is dedicated to graduating students that are college, career, and workforce ready. This mission is supported by innovative classroom instruction, engaging programs, highly qualified employees, and an engaged and well-informed community. To learn more about the ways our community of schools supports students and the community-at-large, please visit www.kcpublicschools.org, KCMOSchools on Facebook, or KCMOSchools on Twitter.
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. To learn more, visit ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us at facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation and twitter.com/ussoccerfndn.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,000 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 7.4 million children. 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 lives and communities. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.
U.S. Soccer Foundation
Kansas City Public Schools