Chargers Champions School Grant Program: Helping Local Schools

USA TODAY Sports

Every year the Chargers award grants to local schools for health and fitness programs. The deadline to apply is May 2. Here is what you need to know about the program and how to apply.

There is always room for improvement when it comes to our local schools and the health and well-being of our children. The Spanos family, through the Chargers Community Foundation and its initiative Chargers Champions, want to help.

Since its creation in 2000, the Chargers Champions School Grant program has donated nearly $5 million to over 100 public and private schools within San Diego County for physical fitness, nutrition and athletic programs that are under-funded and need assistance.

"Schools throughout California need our support," Chargers CEO A.G. Spanos said. "The main goal of our program is to enhance students’ ability to live a healthy lifestyle through physical fitness."

The program annually provides selected schools with grants of up to $75,000 for high schools, up to $40,000 for middle schools, and up to $30,000 for elementary schools.

Last year, six San Diego County schools received grants: Clairemont High School (San Diego) was awarded funding for a new weight room and sand volleyball court, Wangenheim Middle School (Mira Mesa) got a new indoor fitness center, and Nye Elementary School (Southeast San Diego) used its grant to initiate a Peaceful Playground Program. The other recipients were John Muir High School (San Diego), Lincoln Elementary School (Escondido), and Palmquist Elementary School (Oceanside).

"We have great schools and hardworking administrators that look for every opportunity to improve academics, facilities and activities for students," said Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified's Director of Athletics.

With the uncertainty of future funding for youth programs geared towards health and fitness, it makes sense to pursue money elsewhere; the Chargers Champions program has been successful in providing alternative funding for the past 14 years. That is why the Chargers are urging educators, coaches, and parents to apply for the program before its deadline Friday, May 2.

Applications may be found here. Don’t let the soon approaching deadline discourage you from applying. Besides the postage the application is free, but the value to local children goes beyond dollars.

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