The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and the Chicago Fire Foundation announced today its continued partnership with Urban Initiatives, a non-profit organization that runs a health and education soccer program, called the Work to Play Program, in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Fire owner Andrew Hauptman will present Urban Initiatives with a check for $100,000, the Fire Foundation’s largest grant to date, prior to kickoff at the Chicago Fire – Seattle Sounders FC match at TOYOTA PARK on Saturday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. CT (CSN).
“The Chicago Fire Foundation strives to impact the lives of underserved youths throughout the Chicagoland area,” said Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman. “Our foundation is committed to the community and diversity of the Chicagoland area. We see this partnership with Urban Initiatives as a genuine opportunity to use the size and scope of soccer to affect the community around us.”
The Chicago Fire Foundation and Urban Initiatives are both Chicago-born organizations that share the love of soccer and the understanding of its ability to positively impact the Chicagoland community. The Chicago Fire Foundation works to enhance the lives of disadvantaged youth throughout Chicagoland. Urban Initiatives innovative “Work to Play Program” (WTPP) is comprised of three, eight-week seasons during each school year. Each week consists of three program sessions - two before school practices and one after school game. Sessions include at least one hour of exercise, a health tutorial, a nutritious snack, and a character trait. In partnership, both the Chicago Fire Foundation and Urban Initiatives will be more effective in impacting youths in Chicago and the surrounding communities.
“Since our inception, Urban Initiatives has received tremendous support from the Chicago Fire Soccer Club with our efforts to improve health and educational outcomes,” said Urban Initiatives founder and Executive Director Dan Isherwood. “We are excited to be launching a formal partnership with the Chicago Fire Foundation and will impact the lives of more children and families in the Chicagoland area.”
Currently, Urban Initiatives serves over 480 first through fourth grade boys and girls at 16 school sites in 12 underserved Chicago communities - reaching as far north as Hamlin Park and as far south as Englewood. Urban Initiatives does not target a particular ethnicity; however, the schools served are either 95-100% African American or 75-90% Latino respectively. In addition, 93% of the students at the schools we serve are from low-income families; therefore, Urban Initiatives does not charge a fee for our services to participants.