National Recreation Foundation Spotlight

October 1, 2012, Department, by NRPA

As part of an ongoing series on the National Recreation Foundation, Parks & Recreation highlights grant recipients for the foundation’s program benefiting at-risk youths. This month features programs from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.  

Cranbrook Schools Horizons-Upward Bound
Get Fit-Stay Safe Grant—$30,000

The mission of Horizons-Upward Bound is to prepare students with limited opportunities from the Detroit metropolitan area to enter and succeed in post-secondary education. The Get Fit-Stay Fit program will supplement the summer’s phase of intramural sports programs, which offer athletic activities at the end of the school day. This program will focus on providing lessons in Tai Chi to 180 students to help build confidence, character, and self-esteem in each student, as well as support the development of positive conflict resolution.  

American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division
Dangers of the Unknown Grant—$30,000

ATSPA is a nonprofit trauma prevention education organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering, disability, and death due to trauma. Each year, thousands of young people under 18 suffer from concussions. Funding will help develop the Dangers of the Unknown, an educational program that teaches young athletes, coaches, trainers, teachers, parents, and recreation personnel about the dangerous effects of concussions on children.  

SOS Outreach University

SOS Outreach University is a multi-year program which provides leadership training to 570 at-risk youths at 10 national sites. The program incorporates consistent adult mentorship, service learning, life skills workshops, and a core value curriculum while using skiing, snowboarding, or summer wilderness experiences as the hook to maintain participant interest. The goal of SOS outreach programs is to increase resiliency and protective factors in underserved youth.

The National Recreation Foundation and NRPA, along with its predecessor organizations, have had a close working relationship since 1919. In addition to NRPA, 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.” 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.