Youth Development, Sports & Recreation
Research is proving that gathering places, recreational facilities and sports opportunities are necessary for the healthy development of young people – especially those in poorer neighborhoods where other social options are few and destructive opportunities are everywhere. Those facilities and opportunities are also important to parents, who, through their child’s participation in sporting events, can meet their neighbors and become active in the community.
Better youth programming and employment/education opportunities are critical. Getting youth involved in park and after-school programs is a common goal; most communities are also pursuing more-aggressive outreach such as:
- Organizing an after-school transportation network, using church vans, to bring youth from schools to parks and other programs.
- Mentoring, part-time jobs, entrepreneurship training and tutoring for youth.
- Hands-on projects such as mural painting, studio recording, surveying, web site creation and sports leagues.
This partnership between the National Football League’s Youth Football Fund, the NFL Players Association and LISC works with community groups to create or rehabilitate playing fields in underserved neighborhoods.
The Center for the Study of Social Policy offers examples of effective policies to ensure youth are prepared to succeed as adults.