As you know, the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating to so many, and we're especially concerned about Lawrence youth who've been disproportionately disconnected from in-person classroom learning, play, and mentorship. In fact, Lawrence, because of its higher rates, only recently (May 2021) opened up its parks. That means we have a tremendous responsibility to make up for kids' lost time on fields and courts.
With your help, we will offer better quality sports programs this spring and summer, including expanding our newest sports hook of volleyball for Beyond Volley! To do that, we must build capacity to reach more kids safely and more effectively. Sports participation rates were already lower in Lawrence before the pandemic, making us more concerned about this timeout's adverse short and long-term effects. We haven't backed down but need your help, and that's what this #PlayItForward campaign is all about and is why we are extending it through June 2021. It will help us bring back sports--to more kids--and improve our related sports-based youth development efforts, primarily through creative partnerships and collaborations that will expand academic, healthy living, and leadership development initiatives too! We are very focused on summer engagement and youth jobs opportunities too!