We at Kids in the Game and KING Hoops are no stranger to the inequities in our country. New York City is home to the highest inequality gap in the nation. We see this on a daily basis in the schools and communities we work in, and we’ve made a conscious effort to help close that gap through direct service and financial aid.
We launched The Kids in the Game Foundation in 2017 in a concentrated effort to raise money to help underserved families participate in the programming their children desperately need. Since then, we have been able to provide over $130,000 in scholarships that have allowed 185 deserving kids to participate in our programs who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do so. Although we are proud of this work, we know that this is by no means the final step. We’re just getting started.
In light of the recent but unfortunately recurring events over the past few months and in a direct response to the BLM movement, we wanted to make sure that we are doing all we can to help make a difference. We have partnered with Jacob Forcheimer of Hoop Cereal to create the Gym Rat Scholarship that will go specifically to Black and Brown children who are in need of financial aid to participate in youth sports programming.
While we know that participating in sports as a whole aids in character building, strengthens peer to peer relationships, and provides positive mentorship, our kids are lacking opportunity beyond just sport participation. Many of our participants are attending failing schools and have been since elementary school. We keep extensive demographic records for our participants and geographical reach and relate this information with city, state and national research. Research shows Black or Hispanic NYC youth are nearly four times more likely to be enrolled in one of the city’s poorest high schools than an Asian or White student.
The educational gap in New York City is widening and high school graduation rates directly correlate with the poverty level of a neighborhood. Our program participants are growing up in low-income neighborhoods where the availability of sports coaching or academic support is not comparable to what is available in high-income neighborhoods. This is why our KING Hoops program does not solely focus on basketball but also provides each participant with academic and life skills training as part of the program model.
Together, we can close the gap and create a more equitable New York City for all kids. Will you join us?
1. 100% of KING Hoops Players improve in one or more of the following categories after 1 season of participation: Self-Confidence, Social Connection, and Goal Orientation.
2. 92% of players feel like they have an adult or coach in the program that believes in their ability to succeed.
3. 88% strengthened peer relationships or met someone that wouldn’t have without the program.
4. If a child grows up under the poverty line they are 30% less likely to participate in youth sports and gain the valuable life skills mentioned above.
5. 72% of all KING Hoops players require financial aid in order to be able to participate in the program.