The KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy will install a new synthetic turf field at Lanning Square Middle School in Camden, New Jersey thanks in part to a $250,000 grant from the Philadelphia Eagles through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program.
The grant from the Eagles, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is part of more than $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation's leading community development support organization, has committed nearly $46 million to the program since 1998, supporting 336 projects nationwide. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements including irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goalposts, and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
"We are grateful to be a part of this transformational partnership alongside the NFL Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which will benefit children in Camden and the surrounding communities this year with a brand-new synthetic turf field," said team president Don Smolenski. "Through this partnership and our broader field restoration efforts over the past two decades, we are proud to have been able to revitalize a total of 25 fields and parks and contribute nearly $2.5 million to the Greater Philadelphia region."
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance, and programming of the fields.
"This was an exceptional year for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans, old and young, as we won our first Super Bowl," said Andy Frishkoff, Executive Director of Philadelphia LISC. "We are proud to announce the latest project of our 20-year partnership with the Eagles and the NFL Foundation that provides our youth with safe and healthy recreation spaces."