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December 2013 | Grants Newsletter

Sports + Studies = Success


Trust grants of $315,000 to Row New York have helped girls from poor neighborhoods thrive on land and water. Graduates of the program have won athletic scholarships to row at Smith College, Michigan State University, Syracuse, and other schools.

 

In the heart of East Harlem, a baseball diamond is a haven for children at an after-school program to drill students in sports—and much more.

Players at Harlem RBI learn teamwork and develop friendships on baseball and softball teams like the Kings and the Lady Royals. Off the field, they learn life skills: Educators share lessons on preparing for college, finding a career, and getting involved in the community.

Often the students come for the sports, but are enticed by academic opportunities. The program requires everyone to keep up school attendance and grades. Ultimately, the goal isn’t perfect innings; it’s graduating and going to college.

Manuel Vasquez, 16, hopes to study engineering, but doesn’t have time to research colleges. Harlem RBI helps by offering test-prep seminars and workshops on applying to college. The program even organizes a scavenger hunt to get kids out to see campuses across the City.

Since 2001, The Trust gave $700,000 to Harlem RBI.Now, an additional $50,000 will expand the program to Mott Haven in the South Bronx. Organizers are recruiting children from several elementary and middle schools.

The safe environment gives kids a place to go after school, where they’re surrounded by close friends—their teammates. “I feel like this is our second family,” says 15-year-old Woizero Jarvis, a pitcher for the Harlem RBI Lady Royals.

Bronx Soccer Program Kicks Off

With a $50,000 Trust grant, Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club started an after-school soccer program for kids ages 7 to 12 from immigrant communities in the Bronx.

“Baseball and football may be popular in the United States, but the world plays soccer,” says the Club’s foundation director Tony Santiago. About three-quarters of the participants are from Latin America and Africa. In addition to fostering sportsmanship and teamwork, the Club provides tutoring and homework help.


The Science of Skating

With $160,000 in Trust grants, the young women of Figure Skating in Harlem are learning about the physics that makes their bodies spin, jump, and glide on ice. This approach is taught along with a strength-conditioning program.

This fall, the girls performed in Times Square for the Olympic Committee as part of the countdown to the 2014 Winter Games.

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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.

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