Hometown Huddle Joins NFL, United Way of NYC, NYC Mayor’s Office & NY Jets to Boost Youth Health


NFL Players and Staff, United Way of NYC CEO Sheena Wright, NYC Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and the New York Jets Join Forces to Boost Youth Health Through Annual Hometown Huddle Program

High Resolution Photos Available: unitedwaynyc.org/hhpress

NEW YORK, NY, October 21, 2015 – On Tuesday, October 20, more than 75 NFL employees, New York Jets players TJ Barnes, Leger Douzable, Trevor Reilly and Darrin Walls teamed with United Way of New York City CEO, Sheena Wright, United Way of New York City volunteers and Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, for the 2015 Hometown Huddle at P.S. 30 in the Bronx.

Hometown Huddle is a key component of a nationwide strategy to bolster academic achievement among local youth and help them lead active and healthy lives. The NFL and United Way have a 40+ year history of positively impacting communities, and Hometown Huddle is part of a 17-year tradition in which both organizations come together in New York City and the 32 franchise cities nationally for a league-wide day of service designed to elevate the issue of youth health and wellness. This year marks the first year that the City of New York has participated in Hometown Huddle. The new partnership between the NFL, United Way of New York City and the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships highlights the City’s ongoing commitment to create and expand thriving public spaces in underserved neighborhoods.

“United Way of New York City and the NFL share a vision to strengthen New York City’s underserved youth and communities, and this year we’re excited to join our Hometown Huddle tradition with the City’s ongoing efforts to build vibrant public spaces and playgrounds,” said Sheena Wright, President and CEO, United Way of New York City. “When partners like us team up, stretch our muscles and combine resources, we can make significant change happen.”

“For more than 40 years, our partnership with United Way has positively impacted our youngest fans,” said Anna Isaacson, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, National Football League. “We were honored to visit the Wilton School to encourage these kids to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle through our PLAY 60 campaign.”

At P.S. 30, located in Mott Haven, Bronx—one of the lowest-income communities in New York City—school faculty, United Way of New York City staff members, New York Jets players, and NFL volunteers adorned outdoor walls with murals that showcase health, wellness, and the school’s motto to “Teach. Reach. Inspire.” They also revitalized the school’s garden space, readying it for planting and harvesting, affixed game lines for hopscotch and foursquare on the school blacktop and decked out the cafeteria with canvas murals. NFL volunteers also brought the field to students, running PLAY 60 fitness clinics, and built health and wellness kits to equip students with go-to resources to inspire continued physical activity and nutritional living.

“Our City is committed to creating and expanding thriving public spaces in our most underserved neighborhoods,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director, Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships. “That’s why we’re proud, for the first time, to join the Hometown Huddle, which will build a new greenhouse and outdoor play area at P.S. 30 in the Bronx that will help encourage and enable a healthy lifestyle. Thank you to the NFL and United Way for organizing this day of service, and to Grow to Learn and GreenThumb for making this incredible project possible.”

P.S. 30 is supported by United Way of New York City’s ReadNYC initiative, which is boosting literacy and improving education outcomes in New York City’s lowest-income communities. Only 1 in 10 children in the school’s neighborhood of Mott Haven read at grade-level by the third grade. Studies show that students who do not read at grade-level by third grade are 70% more likely to drop out of high school. ReadNYC and United Way of New York City are focused on addressing this issue head on, helping to build a City of possibility for all New Yorkers.

High-resolution photos from the event are available at unitedwaynyc.org/hhpress. (Photo credit: Greenelight Photography/Hayden Greene)

For media inquiries, contact Jake Oliver at The TASC Group at 212-337-8870 or jake@thetascgroup.com.

About United Way of New York City
United Way of New York City (UWNYC) has been a trusted partner to government, corporations, and community-based organizations for nearly 80 years. Serving low-income New Yorkers, UWNYC’s collective impact approach enables the diagnosis of neighborhood challenges and the design of solutions to expand education, financial stability, and health opportunities. UWNYC then deploys resources and volunteers while also driving policy change that is guided by measured results. UWNYC envisions caring communities where all individuals and families have access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives. Learn more at www.unitedwaynyc.org.

About NFL PLAY 60
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $325 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 200 NFL Youth Fitness Zones and integrated programs into more than 73,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched. All 32 clubs activate PLAY 60 locally, with more than 2,000 NFL PLAY 60 events held annually. For more information, visit www.NFLRUSH.com/play60.   

About the New York City Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships
The Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships oversees and directs public-private partnerships for the administration, with oversight of The Mayors Fund, The Fund for Public Schools and the Fund for Public Health, among other 501(c)3 nonprofits associated with city agencies. The Office coordinates the mission and strategy of the Funds, leverages assets and administers private funds to the agencies where applicable.  The Office also organizes inter-agency efforts as they relate to raising private funds to further the strategic initiatives established by the Office to serve the people of New York.