The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, in partnership with UnitedHeathcare, recently delivered a special treat to a Valley nonprofit.
Hundreds of students at Loma Linda Elementary School in Phoenix cheered as a check worth $100,000 was handed to the director of Playworks. Playworks teaches youth empathy, leadership and citizenship through play.
“Playworks was selected as a grant recipient due to its significant impact of reaching over 13,000 students across the Valley, as well as its direct correlation to the youth health and wellness-giving mission,” said Jay Parry, president and CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.
“We are thrilled to partner with UnitedHealthcare to help Playworks create future leaders by expanding its services to children through the Super Bowl XLIX grant.”
The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee mascot, SPIKE, pumped up teachers and students as they accepted the super-sized check, which was taller than most of the fourth graders. The legacy grant will allow Playworks to provide a full-time coach in 18 Title 1 elementary schools, which will keep more than 13,500 students active for up to 45 minutes throughout the school day.
“The legacy grant funding not only validates what we do every day to improve the lives of our students, but also allows us to expand our program and continue to teach kids leadership, empathy and citizenship,” said Chuck Warshaver, executive director of Playworks.
“Through active play and classroom curriculum, our youth develop self-confidence and self-esteem, empowering them to become our state’s future leaders.”
In the words of one such student: “Now that I am a Junior Coach, I like to help the younger kids learn new games. I realize they look up to me and I need to set a good example,” said Paloma Zaragoza, a three-year program participant. “Now I work hard to get good grades and do better in school so that I can continue to be a Junior Coach."