Posts tagged with "young people"

Kicking a Soccer Ball illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

U.S. Soccer Foundation – 300 Mini-Pitches

300 Mini-Pitches from the U.S. Soccer Foundation Bring Soccer to Underserved Communities Research shows youth sports improve physical and mental health as well as academic performance in communities hit hardest by COVID-19 July 27, 2020 U.S. Soccer Foundation As a traumatic pandemic continues to grip much of America, particularly communities of color, efforts are underway to ensure that children and families across the country have positive recreational opportunities to look forward to when they return to school and play. 

The U.S. Soccer Foundation, with the support of its partners, this week reached an important milestone with the installation of the 300th mini-pitch in underserved communities nationwide since 2015. Through a collaborative effort with local governments, youth organizations, school districts, and companies of all sizes, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has continued installing mini-pitches during the pandemic, fulfilling a long-term commitment to children living in underserved communities. 

These communities are the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the slowest to recover, which underscores the importance of these investments. “The trauma that young people in underserved communities face from this pandemic, from the loss of lives to family member’s loss of jobs to the closure of schools and community centers, has been profound,” U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon said. 

“This is an unprecedented escalation in the already challenging circumstances that young people live with, day after day.” “The U.S. Soccer Foundation and our partners are sending a very real message to young people and their families through these projects: We are here for you. We continue to ensure that when communities are ready, more mini-pitches will be there for play.” The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s mini-pitch initiative is responding to a significant challenge faced by youth in underserved communities—a critical shortage of safe places to play.

Since 2015, the Foundation has worked with partners to install mini-pitches in more than 200 communities across the United States and more mini-pitches are on the way. The Foundation plans to install more than 100 in the next year, with a goal of creating a total of 1,000 mini-pitches coast to coast by 2026. With safe surfaces and high-quality lighting, these mini-pitches serve as an ideal place for both pick-up games and free play, as well as high-quality programming, including the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program. 

Mini-pitches fit into urban environments or other areas where space is at a premium, providing a safe place for kids to play and for community members to gather right in their neighborhoods. Corporations including Target, Adidas, and Major League Soccer and its clubs are national partners in this initiative and have partnered with the Foundation on hundreds of mini-pitches to date. Last September, Musco Lighting partnered with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to update the mini-pitch with a new modular system including lights, fencing, and goals. On average, these lighted mini-pitches add 2.75 hours of playing time per day on each pitch. 

Although participation in youth sports is associated with better health and academic achievement, more than 80 percent of children living in households making less than $25,000 miss out on the benefits of team sports. Furthermore, one in three Americans don’t have a park within a 10-minute walk from home, leaving too many kids without access to a soccer program or safe place for free play. To address these barriers, the Foundation and its partners have committed to increasing access to quality youth development programming and creating 1,000 new mini-pitches nationwide. In addition to providing access, the creation of mini-pitches has lasting community benefits: 98% of communities report that the people in their community are more active and feel safer with the addition of a mini-pitch. 

Further, soccer mini-pitches serve as neighborhood gathering places for families, and nearly one-third of the kids who come to play on them are new to soccer. To learn more about the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s work to make soccer everyone’s game, visit itseveryonesgame.org

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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Roybi Robot, 360 MAGAZINE, ai, tech, kids, children, youth, school

ROYBI ROBOT – AI-powered EdTech

A growing number of states say their schools will stay closed for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year to stem the Coronavirus outbreak. At Roybi Robot, a leader in AI-powered EdTech and personalized education, they know first hand the importance of AI in connection with remote education and learning.

At ROYBI, they’re already noticing a big shift towards remote learning due to the recent circumstances and headlines. And throughout this all, one thing seems inevitable: school settings, as they stand today, will change. Online and remote learning will be systems that educational institutions will adopt for future emergencies. They envision a future where the new culture of learning begins at home through devices with sophisticated AI technology such as Roybi Robot. Artificial Intelligence allows educators to follow the child’s progress in a smarter way and provides a personalized approach to each child individually. Additionally, it provides a closer collaboration between parents and educators, because it can connect in a joint force to education.

With many uncertainties around the school closures, many educators have already started approaching distance and remote learning in the long term, but lack of personalized attention and progress tracking has been a major challenge for them. The role of artificial intelligence becomes even more significant for a modern world as it can monitor each child individually and provide feedback to educators more accurately than traditional approaches.

At Roybi, they are NOT saying to eliminate school and the classroom. They are saying that to save time and cost, we can be educating children more at home (by the educators) and use AI to personalize the educational experience for each child. They envision a future where they can connect learners, parents, educators, and even their Roybi Robots together while creating an engaging and interactive learning experience.

Miami Dolphin’s Kenyan Drake

Miami Dolphin‘s running back Kenyan Drake showed off his defense skills last night as he attempted to devour 5 lbs. of Smokey Bones’ signature dishes benefitting his charity of choice!

Fans crowded the Smokey Bones location in Plantation, FL, to meet the running back who scored the game-winning touchdown defeating the Patriots. Attempting to add Competitive Eater to his title, Kenyan Drake accepted Smokey Bone’s Charity 5 Pound Eating Contest challenge, which included 2.5 lb. Slab of House Smoked Baby Back Ribs, 1 lb. Smoked Pork Chop, ½ lb. Premium Burger and 1 lb. of freshly made donuts.

Kenyan Drake fasted all-day in preparation for the contest and started off strong but didn’t make it to halftime. However, for his participation, Smokey Bones donated $5,000 to his charity of choice— The Boys & Girls Club of Broward County “I chose to benefit The Boys & Girls of Broward County because it hits home. I grew up closely with the organization in Atlanta and they work to enable all young people, especially those in need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens,” says Kenyan. Smokey Bones’ CEO, Ryan Esko along with a few children on behalf of the charity presented the check to Kenyan.