Youth Development & Recreation

Research is proving that gathering places, recreational facilities and sports opportunities are necessary for the healthy development of young people – especially those in poorer neighborhoods where other social options are few and destructive opportunities are everywhere. Those facilities and opportunities are also important to parents, who, through their child’s participation in sporting events can meet their peers in the community.

LISC is addressing that issue through the Grassroots program, a partnership between the National Football League Foundation and LISC that works with community groups to create or rehabilitate playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. Since 1998, the NFL’s Youth Football Fund has contributed $32 million to restore or build more than 256 community fields in more than 70 cities nationwide. That contribution has prompted other supporters to kick in roughly $125 million in additional funding to support field redevelopment. LISC identifies the fields and the community groups committed to building them. Improvements typically include improvements such as the installation of synthetic turf, irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards and goal posts.