Project Play

Community Foundation Partners with the Aspen Institute and the Jake Peavy Foundation on Project Play to Build Healthy Communities for All Children through Sports.

The Community Foundation is partnering with the Aspen Institute and the Jake Peavy Foundation on Project Play, a once-in-a generation opportunity to reimagine sports in America with health and inclusion as core values. This program is designed to help close the opportunity gap in Mobile County where child poverty is at a staggering high.

Aspen Institute and local community leaders are working together to conduct a regional assessment of the landscape of youth sports in the community and produce a State of Play report. It will identify key findings known to get and keep kids active in sport and provide key recommendations for next steps and ideas for how individual stakeholders may plug in.

Low income children are being left on the sidelines and so are the opportunities to allow these children to play and become productive members of society.  Project Play aims to level the playing field for kids. It has the ability to reenergize South Alabama communities to be active and allow every child the opportunity to play.

Project Play was launched in 2013 by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program. The initiative convenes the nation’s top thought leaders from the realms of sports, medicine, media, business innovation, government and philanthropy to develop strategies that build healthy, thriving communities for all.

“We are so excited to partner with The Community Foundation of South Alabama and the Aspen Institute to bring this incredible assessment of youth sports to my hometown, Mobile, Alabama” said Jake Peavy. “The value of sports goes beyond the field and we’re committed to providing these young kids with the necessary access so they can thrive and be successful in life.”

Let’s Play Ball

Data shows that children who have access to extracurricular activities tend to be wealthier with more access to opportunities that help them grow into productive members of communities and families.  Yet, in Alabama- on average, more than 1 in 5 high schoolers did not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity even once per week.

“Far too many children from low-income areas, like many of the neighborhoods all over southwest Alabama, have less access to everything including quality early childhood education, enrichment and extracurricular activities that give them the emotional, social and educational skills and opportunities necessary to succeed later in life,” said Rebecca Byrne, President & CEO of The Community Foundation of South Alabama.  “That is why this partnership between The Community Foundation of South Alabama, the Aspen Institute and the Jake Peavy Foundation to close the opportunity gap and allow all children to have access to extracurricular activities is so exciting and so promising.”

About the Jake Peavy Foundation

The Jake Peavy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization founded in 2012 by Major League Baseball Pitcher and Mobile, Ala., native, Jake Peavy. Jake is a two-time World Series Champion, three-time All Star & winner of the NLC Youth Award and pitching Triple Crown in 2007. The Jake Peavy Foundation supports sports, music & the arts, and financial literacy programs that transform the lives of young people, particularly those in underserved and at-risk communities across America.  The Jake Peavy Foundation builds programs in markets where Jake has played throughout his career: Chicago, San Diego, Boston, San Francisco and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.