Nonprofit organization San Antonio Sports said March 8 it received a $350,000 grant from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation to expand two free youth and community programs.
SAS officials said this is the largest single-year grant award the organization has ever received, and the new cash infusion will support expanding the group’s Fit Family Challenge from a 12-week summer program to year-round, adding sites, classes, community runs and a mental health component.
The funding will also be used to expand the I Play! Afterschool program into new school districts, potentially adding a new sport and providing a similar mental health component, SAS officials said.
“This funding will impact thousands of children and families in our community,” said Jenny Carnes, San Antonio Sports president and CEO, in a statement. “Our mission is to transform our community through the power of sport, and this grant is transformative for the future of our organization and those we serve.”
According to SAS, the Fit Family Challenge was launched in 2010 and as a means for families to learn about health and fitness, eat right and stay active with free weekly fitness classes and health assessments.
SAS officials said the Fit Family Challenge also features free 5K runs and is available to anyone living in Bexar County.
The nonprofit said the Fit Family Challenge specifically targets San Antonio neighborhoods identified as high risk for ongoing health problems for which remedies, such as the challenge.
The I Play! Afterschool program, according to SAS, provides skill-based instruction in soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis to 1,500 third- through sixth-graders in 50-plus Title I schools in six school districts.
SAS officials said research shows that children in this program have significantly less absenteeism, fewer disciplinary referrals, and higher academic outcomes in reading and math than children not in the program.