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Independence Increases Involvement In Community and Schools

April 4, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Philadelphia Independence News Release

PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 4, 2011) - As the Philadelphia Independence is busy getting ready for the team's second WPS season, players and staff are out in the community visiting schools and youth recreation programs to promote healthy lifestyles, emphasize the importance of academic excellence and education, and encourage the growth of character and leadership skills. "As a professional sports organization, we recognize our responsibility to give back to the communities of Philadelphia and realize the positive impact we can have on the area's youth," says Independence defender Nikki Kryzsik. She added, "This program is a terrific way for us to help inspire tomorrow's leaders and embed the principles of health, fitness, good grades, and community involvement."

The Independence Schools and Community Services (ISCS) Program was officially launched in January 2011 by the Independence and is being implemented across the area through a wide range of visits to schools and classrooms, youth soccer clubs, recreation centers, church groups, and other community organizations. The ISCS Program has three areas of emphasis and learning: promoting healthy lifestyles; emphasis on education; and growth of character and leadership. The team's ISCS Program, and its player visits, have been well received, and continue to grow in popularity. Following a recent visit to Harris School in Collingdale, Pa., Daniel Ruane, a Harris 2nd grade teacher stated, "The Harris second graders enthusiastically welcomed the Philadelphia Independence soccer players into their classrooms. They thoroughly enjoyed having a book read to them and anxiously await the return of the Philadelphia Independence."

Companion to the team's ISCS Program, the Independence has become an official President's Challenge Advocate. As a President's Challenge Advocate, the Independence will promote the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) in the greater Philadelphia community, and support the First Lady's "Let's Move" initiative. PALA requires youth participants, ages 6-17, to engage in physical activity for 60 minutes, five days per week, for six out of eight weeks. Everyone who completes the requirements receives a PALA certificate of achievement signed by the co-chairs of the President's Council, Drew Brees and Dominique Dawes.

"PALA is a great motivator for healthy, active lifestyles among youth," said Danielle Duff, Philadelphia Independence Outreach Manager. "PALA is an awesome program to be involved with, and we are both honored and excited to be a President's Challenge Advocate. The Philadelphia Independence is committed to having a positive impact on our community, and in addition to our reading and citizenship programs, PALA will be a great tool to achieve our outreach goals."

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