Hoping to provide new opportunities for inner-city children to participate in the greatest game ever invented,
Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider announced the creation of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. He immediately announced a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia in which public school children will participate in on-ice hockey clinics as part of their physical education curriculum.At a joint news conference held at the University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Arena, officials announced the creation of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, which will partner with the District to fund the participation of 450 Philadelphia elementary and middle school students in a series of four-week hockey clinics that will run from October through March each year. The program fosters the mission of the Foundation, which is to teach ice skating and ice hockey to children who otherwise might not have the opportunity to participate in these activities.Joining Snider at the announcement were Martin Bednarek, a member of the Philadelphia's School Reform Commission, other School District, Comcast-Spectacor and Philadelphia Flyers officials, and 30 fourth graders from John Patterson Elementary School in Southwest Philadelphia who participated in their first on-ice clinic at the news conference."Hockey is the greatest game ever invented, and my hope is to provide a chance for a whole new generation of children to learn and play the game," said Snider. "Through hockey, I want our participants to be able to learn about life, achieving successes and scoring goals, not just on the ice, but in life."Snider is providing the initial funding of the Foundation, which is a public charity in accordance with Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It will be operated separately from all of other for-profit businesses with which he is affiliated.The Foundation program will also teach teamwork, positive self-esteem, respect of others and the importance of hard work. The program is designed for public school children ages seven through 12, giving them the opportunity to learn the game through a series of four-week clinics that will be held at three premier Philadelphia ice rinks: the University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Arena in West Philadelphia; the Wissahickon Skating Club in Northwest Philadelphia, PA; and the Polonia Bank Flyers Skate Zone in the Northeast Philadelphia. These are the only rinks in Philadelphia, which remain open during the entire school year. Volunteers from these facilities, as well as student volunteers from Penn's club hockey team and other area coaches hockey programs, will assist in teaching the clinics at each site.The Foundation will fund the purchase of hockey equipment for the use of every child in the program, as well as providing the costs of transporting children to and from the ice. Working in partnership with the School District, the clinics will be a part of the District's physical education curriculum for the participating students. Additionally, scholarships will be provided for participants to join in local recreational youth hockey leagues or local competitive youth hockey clubs, as well as the cost to compete in USA Hockey. Eventually, the Foundation and the District hope to develop a District-wide ice hockey program at the middle school level, in which children from a wide variety of Philadelphia public schools compete against each other.The first three schools participating in the program during the 2005-06 school year are the John Patterson Elementary School, the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in the Olney/Logan section of Philadelphia, and the Joseph Greenberg Elementary School in Northeast Philadelphia. The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and the School District hopes to have a more than a dozen Philadelphia elementary and middle schools participate in the program before the end of the 2005-06 school year. On behalf of the School Reform Commission and the School District of Philadelphia, I would like to thank Ed Snider for partnering with the School District to give girls and boys in our schools the opportunity to learn and play ice hockey, said Bednarek Young people that participate in sports at a young age learn the importance of education and teamwork and these skills will last them their entire life. The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation will be a great long-term benefit to Philadelphia Public school students.Ed Snider is truly one of the great corporate and community leaders in the Greater Philadelphia Region and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is another example of his commitment to improving the lives of our children, said Paul Vallas, CEO of the School District of Philadelphia. The long-term legacy of the Foundation will be the fact that it helped thousands of youngsters learn a sport that would otherwise be financially unavailable to them. The Foundation will also give its participants the tools to succeed in their schools and as solid citizens in their communities. The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation can be reached through Executive Director Jim Britt at 215-618-0055 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.