Students across the state of Alabama and the country sometimes have to sit out from participating in the sports they love because of pay to play fees that they can’t afford. We can help.
The Under the Lights Foundation was created to help give students everywhere the chance to find their own spotlight – whether on the field, court, stage, mat or anywhere in between. The Under the Lights Foundation was created to ensure that everyone has the chance to participate in athletics, fine arts or any other extracurricular activity, regardless of financial status or any other issue that would hinder a student from participating in an activity that they love.
The Under the Lights Foundation is dedicated to helping students or programs in financial need. Our goal is to help students achieve their career goals, an objective which has the added benefit of bettering the community at large. We want to ensure that no student will deprived of the ability to participate in extracurricular activities due to personal financial burden or program shortage of funds.
Our mission is to allow students the ability to learn necessary life skills and have fun while doing it within organized sports and fine arts, and not let money stand in the way.
More is expected of students as they move into middle and high school on a physical, emotional and even financial level. Numbers typically dwindle due to the financial hardship that some students and programs face.
We choose to remove the barrier of entry for students and allow them to participate in activities that can offer many benefits such as higher school achievement, lower dropout rates, improved health or body and mind and the development of teamwork, discipline, problem-solving skills and enhanced self confidence.
Our foundation aims to provide the necessary funds so that students can have the educational and life benefits of organized sports and fine arts and give them the opportunity to be a part of something special.
Numbers are coming in from all over the country, and sports participation is down almost across the board. The Aspen Institute released a report in conjunction with the Sports & Fitness Industry Association that showed that kids playing at least one team sport on a regular bases fell to 36.9%, down from 41.5% only five years ago. It also showed that those playing an individual sport dropped below halfway at 49.8%, down from 53.2% five years ago.
The overall number of kids playing a team or individual sport (organized or unorganized) for at least one day a year has fallen from 73% to 71.5% in the last five years.
The percentage of kids staying active to a healthy level playing sports has declined in the last five years from 28.7% to 24.8%.
According to the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, over 60% of high schools in the United States make students pay to participate in athletic programs. Almost a million students don’t participate because they can’t afford the fees. The average school fee is $126, and almost 20% of students pay over $200. Plus, there are additional costs for equipment, travel and other sports-related items that can cost hundreds more.
Less than half of children with a household income of under $50,000 currently participate in a sport. The gap between kids in households that earn less than $25,000 and those in $100,000+ households was 23% in 2013, and that gap has increased to 32% in 2016.
Why should a few hundred bucks cost a student his or her future?
Your donations will go in large part to the students that participate in these sports along with the organizations themselves to help cover the necessary costs so that those costs aren’t passed on to the student.
We are here to empower parents to encourage their children to participate in these activities and to educate the parents in how they can better support their children once they do start in these activities.
We are here to empower the communities to rally behind these students and help create a safe and fun atmosphere for them to compete in.
But most of all, we are here to empower students of all ages to get active, participate in sports, fine arts and other extracurricular activities, and to be able to do so without and burden on their financial status.
Whether you are a student who is in need of help, or a teacher/coach/director who is looking to take your program to the next level, we are here to help you. Applications will be available soon, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch!