$317,128 grant to provide afterschool sports programs to 88 schools throughout Southern California

Think Together, California’s leading nonprofit provider of afterschool, expanded learning and school improvement programs, today announced the award of a $317,128 grant from the LA84 Foundation, a nationally recognized leader of youth sport programs focused on positive youth development. This grant will allow more students from under-resourced communities to participate in free team sports opportunities.

Think Together’s funding from the LA84 Foundation previously covered sports for 3,240 students at 81 public schools across Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. This year, the funding is much more extensive, allowing 7,040 students at 88 schools across Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties to gain access to sports programs. The expansion includes schools in Think Together’s newest region, Palm Springs.


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“Think Together and the LA84 Foundation are aligned in wanting to promote equity for kids. For Think Together that’s in the classroom, and for the LA84 Foundation it’s supporting positive youth development through sport and play,” said Randy Barth, founder and CEO of Think Together. “The communities we serve are often under-resourced, and we have seen the value of making sure students are exposed to sports and activity for their physical and mental health.”

Depending on state and county health guidelines, Think Together will provide in-person sports programs with three 10-week rotations: basketball program for boys and girls in the winter; boys and girls soccer program in the spring; and flag football and volleyball programs in the fall, each with culminating tournaments.

Sports programming is a crucial element of students’ education and will help them develop socio-emotional skills and identity development. In addition to competitive sports, Think Together will provide Skillastics, an evidence-based curriculum, with in-person modules in martial arts, STEM and sports, yoga, mindfulness and more. If needed, Think Together can also provide the Skillastics curriculum in a virtual environment to engage students in physical activity while teaching them sports skills.

“Sports and play programs have never been more important to help kids learn, connect with each other and add joy to their lives in a healthy environment,” said Nolan Ortiz, Director, Grants & Programs of the LA84 Foundation. “Think Together continues to expand their sports programming to reach more youth. We thank Think Together for their partnership and commitment to closing the Play Equity gap across the region.”


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Research from the USC Keck School of Medicine found that children were less physically active and much more sedentary in the early phases of the pandemic. Based on the study, the highest risk group includes low-income and minority students. Regular exercise and sports programs helps student social and emotional development as they learn to work as a team and practice strategy and collaborative thinking skills. In addition, regular exercise helps students focus better while in the classroom.

Think Together and the LA84 Foundation have partnered since 2008, and have since served approximately 50,000 students with sports programming, alongside sports and healthy living partners like the LA Dodgers Foundation, US Soccer Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.

Private philanthropic grants are pivotal to Think Together’s expanded learning programs and provide students with equitable access to academic and enrichment programs many youth may not otherwise receive.

Think Together’s afterschool expanded learning programs are funded in part by After School Education and Safety (ASES) grants awarded by the California Department of Education and 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants secured from the U.S. Department of Education. In 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, committed a record $5 billion investment by 2025 for afterschool programs as part of his historic $123 billion funding bill to support K-12 schools.


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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. For more information, visit www.la84.org.

Submitted by: Think Together

Contact the editor: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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.