$291,000 Think Together grant to offer “Virtual Sports Programs” at 81 Southern California schools
Think Together, California’s leading nonprofit provider of afterschool, expanded learning and school improvement programs, recently announced the award of a $291,418 grant from the LA84 Foundation, a nationally recognized leader of youth sport programs focused on positive youth development. The funding will help Think Together offer free virtual sports programs to middle school youth at 81 public schools in Southern California.
The grant funding will be used at 54 schools in Los Angeles County, 22 schools in Riverside County, and five schools in San Bernardino County.
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Recent research from the Afterschool Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for afterschool programs, found that the majority (65%) of afterschool programs report that more online resources and student access to technology is extremely vital to their programming.
Research also proves that children being left behind during COVID-19 are disproportionately those from low-income families.
With 85% of Think Together students qualifying for free and reduced-price meals at their schools, the nonprofit’s virtual sports program will help address current needs and primarily serve Latino (82%) and African American (10%) youth in need.
Think Together is providing 22 middle schools in Riverside County with virtual sport programs to deliver on the need for physical activity and youth development during COVID-19. While also available in-person for some California school districts, Riverside County is currently receiving programming in a virtual environment. Photo Credit: Think Together
“The majority of our Think Together students report that daily exercise helps them perform better in school, so we are thrilled to have received this funding to launch physical activity programs for middle schoolers that meet the requirements of our current environment,” says Randy Barth, founder and CEO of Think Together.
“With the support of LA84 Foundation, our staff will facilitate online sessions, using Skillastics, an evidence-based curriculum, to help students engage in physical activity and learn key skills across 15 sports,” Barth continued.
The programs will include 30-40 minutes of physical activity instruction per day, three to four times per week, and will work within state, county and district guidelines. To reinforce at-home learning, students will also receive at-home sports kits to ensure equitable access for students and to encourage an engaging learning environment.
“We are so grateful for the financial support of the LA84 Foundation,” said Joel Wyatt, chief development officer at Think Together.
“LA84 Foundation provides necessary grant funding to organizations like ours, but also works to advance sports as an essential element in transforming the lives of youth,” continued Wyatt. “Given the continuing challenges of this year, LA84’s contributions are more important than ever – not only for our youth who need safe healthy activity programs – but for organizations like ours, which are continuing to provide critical services and virtual learning and enrichment opportunities to students and families in need.”
About Think Together
Think Together partners with schools and communities to pursue educational equity and excellence for all kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements and scales academic solutions that change the odds for hundreds of thousands of California students. Think Together’s program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators. For more information, call (888) 485-THINK or visit www.thinktogether.org.
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 has supported thousands of Southern California youth sports organizations through grant making 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, visit www.la84.org and @LA84Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.
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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including KRCR News Channel 7 and Mountain Echo in Shasta County, Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.