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 The Texas Southern University Athletics Department has received a $98,111 grant from the Save the Children Fund, an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries.

With the grant, TSU Athletics will build an athletics-based program called TSU Tiger Cubs for school-aged children in the local Third Ward community.

“On August 25, 2017, the City of Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, and although more than a year has passed, many are still physically, mentally, and psychologically impacted by the catastrophic flooding,” said TSU assistant athletic director Adeanah Pooler. “Moreover, some neighborhoods that were heavily populated as economically disadvantaged prior to Hurricane Harvey, such as the Third Ward, have endured a greater sense of devastation compared to other Houston area neighborhoods.”

“The mission of the TSU Tiger Cubs is to foster healthy lifestyles through literacy and sports,” said Pooler.  “The Tiger Cubs will meet this mission by offering three community-based programs during the 2018-19 academic year that will include, but are not limited to, YES Prep and KIPP-Houston charter schools.”

The programs include:

Earn Your Stripes

TSU Athletics will invite children from Third Ward schools to the campus for a health and literacy event.  A campus scavenger hunt will require the students to find different items for their “Tool Kit for Success.” The goal of this one-day program is to promote literacy through requiring students to use critical thinking to enhance their problem-solving skills. Each student will also attend informative sessions on healthy eating and wellness, study skills, and reading comprehension. Using sports as an integration tool, each session will also include a sports activity prior to “Earning their Stripes” at the end of the day.

World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day on April 23, 2019, TSU Athletics will partner with Houston-based YES Prep and KIPP charter schools during the months of February, March and April. Students will be given a reading challenge to be completed by April 23. Each month the student with the most books read will be awarded with a class pizza party and a visit from TSU student-athletes. Throughout each month, students can earn prizes for participating in games that promote reading comprehension and literacy. Students will also be provided with healthy snacks to promote healthy eating and wellness. TSU athletic administrators, student-athletes, professors from the College of Education, mascots and cheerleaders will make appearances. In April, the school with the most read books will be honored at a TSU basketball game. Each school will be given books for the students to read each month and they will be able to keep the books for their school library at the conclusion of the program.

Field Day Challenge

High school aged students from Third Ward schools will be invited to TSU for a field day event. The field day event will be facilitated by TSU Athletics on the campus of a Third Ward high school. The event will also include wellness seminars on healthy eating as well as fitness strategies and athletic skill sessions.

“Under the leadership of TSU President Dr. Austin Lane, the university has fully embraced its role of helping revitalize and enhance the local community that surrounds our campus,” said TSU interim vice president of intercollegiate athletics Kevin Granger. “One of the key components of that vision is to address critical urban issues, and prepare students to become a force for positive change in society. We couldn’t find a better way than by providing these programs to the local Third Ward community as we continue to assist with the rebuilding of an area of Houston that was so adversely affected.”