The local nonprofit Leveling the Playing Field distributes sports equipment kits to DCPS, MCPS and others.
WASHINGTON – Online schooling through ZOOM is hard enough for kids and parents to manage, but when it comes to physical education (PE) classes, many students are being left behind and left behind.
Children were not able to exercise in the same way during the coronavirus pandemic. This left many of them without access to any sports equipment. Before the pandemic, many of these children had access only through their local school, during extracurricular group sports, or by playing with friends.
A Washington-Baltimore-area nonprofit is dedicated to correcting inequities that exist in access to sports facilities. The problem existed before the pandemic, but the coronavirus has only exacerbated the problem.
“Participation in children’s sports is important for development no matter what. But in a pandemic it is clear that it was even more important,” said Max Levitt, Founder and CEO of Leveling the Playing Field .
Levitt founded the organization in 2013 after seeing how much sports equipment was going to be wasted by college and professional sports teams. He knew there was a huge need for used equipment in underserved and impoverished areas.
“Everyone is fed up with finding a sock, finding a stuffed animal to play ball and things like that,” said DCPS director of health and physical education Miriam Kenyon. “It’s very different, what physical education looks like practically now.”
DCPS and Kenyon have developed a working relationship with Leveling the Playing Field which has produced enormous benefits during the pandemic.
Levitt and his organization have a warehouse full of used sports equipment that they have obtained from various teams and donations. Now these items are going to children who need them badly.
Leveling the Playing Field has developed sports kits and over 700 have gone to DCPS students so far.
“It’s a set of four cones, a play ball, a jump rope, a frisbee and a pedometer. It was very helpful to us in making sure the kids have the equipment,” Kenyon said.
Through donations, the group assembles these sports kits for $ 20 each.
Leveling the Playing Field launched a March Madness fundraiser. Whoever buys media from them, the winner gets $ 500. One bracket costs $ 20 or businesses can purchase twenty brackets for $ 275. No matter how much you buy, every dollar is tax deductible.
Brackets are available for purchase until Thursday morning, when the first games of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament begin.
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