Brooklyn, NY (October 18, 2011) – More than 100 National Football League (NFL) employees joined United Way of New York City (UWNYC) today to revitalize a Brooklyn schoolyard and facilities by planting gardens, painting a mural, creating a dance studio and, along with New York Jets punter T.J. Conley, running football and fitness clinics for youth. Today's event at the Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders in Gravesend Brooklyn was part of the 13th annual NFL/United Way Hometown Huddle, a series of community service projects implemented on the same day by NFL players and United Ways in NFL markets nationwide.
The NFL's PLAY 60 is the league's campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity. NFL PLAY 60 and United Way are working together to provide new, fun opportunities for young people to lead healthier lifestyles and encouraging kids to play at least 60 minutes every day.
"United Way of NYC is committed to improving health for vulnerable New Yorkers and the key is to establish healthy habits at a young age," said UWNYC President and CEO Gordon Campbell. "With so many football fans in the area, the NFL sets a great example by both getting kids up and active, and helping provide the on-the-ground tools kids need to live a healthy lifestyle in their own communities."
"Just 60 minutes of physical activity a day can make a world of difference in combating obesity and is something our employees and players believe in strongly," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Partnering with United Way of New York City allows us to reach kids where we can have a meaningful and positive impact on youth development and help some future football players and their fans throughout New York City."
The Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders (2630 Benson Ave, Brooklyn, NY) is a participant in United Way's citywide Graduate, Prepare, Succeed (GPS-NYC) initiative—a robust and targeted dropout prevention program that works to ensure that high school students graduate on time, ready for college. CAMBA, a New York based non-profit that serves community needs by creating individualized service-oriented programming, is United Way's community-based partner in administering GPS-NYC at the school.
The 13th Annual Hometown Huddle is part of United Way's nationwide call-to-action for individuals to LIVE UNITED©—to give, advocate and volunteer on issues relating to education, income or health. United Way has declared bold, 10-year goals in each of those three areas. In the area of health, the goal is to increase by one-third the percentage of healthy youth and adults by 2018. In addition to United Way's citywide GPS-NYC initiative, other efforts include UWNYC's Healthy Eating for a Healthy Start project, which impacts nutrition policies, increases nutrition literacy and healthy food consumption at NYC Head Start centers. UWNYC also works to improve the health and nutritional status of New Yorkers as the local administrator for the New York State Department of Health's Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP).
United Way of New York City and partners like the NFL work together to create innovative new strategies and partnerships across all sectors—businesses, nonprofits, governments and individuals—to ultimately help children and families across the City live healthier and more successful lives.
**Photos Available at www.unitedwaynyc.org/hometownhuddle**
About United Way of New York City
United Way of New York City fights poverty across the five boroughs. With a focus on education, income and health—the building blocks of a good life—UWNYC designs and invests in evidence-based programs that ensure low-income New Yorkers have both a safety net and a springboard to a better life. United Way's GPS-NYC initiative helps high school students with a history of chronic absenteeism graduate on time and be ready for college. For more information, visit www.unitedwaynyc.org.
About NFL PLAY 60
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long standing commitment to youth health and fitness with an impressive roster of partner organizations like United Way. In addition to national outreach and online programs, PLAY 60 is implemented at the grassroots level through NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $250 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. To learn more, visit nflrush.com/play60.
CAMBA is one of Brooklyn's largest community-based organizations. Founded in 1977 as a merchants' block association, the agency has grown in direct response to the needs of the Brooklyn community and beyond. Today, CAMBA provides services to 45,000 individuals and families annually through an integrated set of six program areas: Economic Development, Education and Youth Development, Family Support Services, HIV/AIDS Services, Housing Services and Development, and Legal Services. With over 50 locations throughout Brooklyn and across the City, we have deep ties to the communities in which we operate. Through our comprehensive continuum of care, CAMBA provides services which connect people with opportunities to enhance their quality of life.