NRF Spotlight

August 1, 2012, Department, by NRPA


Chicago Project for Violence Prevention/Ceasefire Grant$30,000 

The purpose of Ceasefire Illinois is to reduce the rate of killing in the City of Chicago to equal or less than the national rate and to provide support and guidance to individuals at high risk of involvement in shootings to encourage them to follow a positive lifestyle. The project combines a public health strategy with a criminal justice approach to violence prevention. This grant will support the planning, preparation, and implementation of a series of peace conferences serving at-risk African-American and Hispanic youth between the ages of 15 and 24 in three Chicago communities.  



Since 2008, the Outward Bound Bay Area Center (San Francisco/Bay area) has worked with more than 1,200 young people and 40 local educators through school-based partnerships and a variety of programming tailored to the needs of each partner. Funding from the NRF supports student participation in three- to five-day urban or wilderness courses, as well as furthering partnerships with area nonprofits to continue the growth of the program. 


African Runners Art Exhibit Grant$30,000 

New York Road Runners will partner with the Museum of African Art to create an exhibit focused on running, contextualizing the art of running by telling the stories of four accomplished African runners. This will be offered free of cost, and seeks to improve children’s knowledge of and appreciation for the African identity, physical fitness, and the connection between perseverance and personal achievement.  



The MGR Foundation is committed to overcoming social and educational barriers, and creating innovative programs that positively impact communities. The Team M3: Chicago Student Mentor Run program is the foundation’s health and wellness program in which adult mentors are paired with at-risk Chicago public high school students to train for, participate in, and complete the Chicago Marathon. This program serves nine area schools, with more than 230 students and 96 adult mentors.  



Stonington Community Center (Connecticut) received funding for the establishment of a new arts center with an emphasis on serving youth who have been identified as being at high risk for inappropriate alcohol and drug use. The center will be a multi-faceted art center providing programs, mentors, coordinated activities, target participation, and open studio use.     



In 2011, Texas-based KERA engaged in their programs 100 low-income families with young children living in conditions of economic and educational impoverishment. Through training, events, and regular exercise activities, this project will empower families to use the resources available in their own neighborhoods through all seasons. It is structured as a replicable leadership model for future years. 


The National Recreation Foundation  

The National Recreation Foundation and NRPA, along with its predecessor organizations, have had a close working relationship since 1919. The foundation has supported many programs and activities through NRPA for all of those years, including the National Recreation School, the World Leisure and Recreation Association, and many other programs of the former National Recreation Association and NRPA. In more recent years, the foundation’s endowment portfolio has grown significantly, which has made possible the funding of more than $10 million of NRPA programs and activities. In addition to NRPA, the NRF supports many other not-for-profit organizations and government agencies throughout the United States. In 2010-2011, grants were made to 36 programs for a total of just under $2 million.

The mission is “to be a life-enhancing force on the youth of the nation by investing strategically in recreation with a special focus on programs for those who are economically, physically, or mentally disadvantaged.” The NRF gives funding priority to organizations working to coordinate efforts among local, state, and national agencies that address this mission, as well as to programs focusing on outcomes leading to significant social change. The foundation views recreation and the leisure services as a broad and holistic perspective that assists youth-at-risk by encouraging healthy lifestyles for all.