Growing Our Program to Support the Linden Community


February 02, 2021 • Outreach

Through a partnership with Columbus Recreation and Parks, the Lindy Infante Foundation, and Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), the LiFEsports+ Summer Camp was first piloted in 2019. LiFEsports+ is a community-based, expanded version of the campus-based summer program. In fact, the LiFEsports+ camp program serves youth ages 5-14 all 8 weeks of summer (compared to the four week campus program).

Like the campus program, LiFEsports+ utilizes sports to teach four main social skills to youth - self-control, effort, teamwork, and social responsibility (S.E.T.S.). Camp staff use detailed curricula designed to use sport as an avenue to teach these social skills. During 2019, the LiFEsports+ Summer Camp served 80 youth at the Beatty Community Center. Another 40 youth were served in 2020 (reduced numbers due to COVID-19). Both program years have produced positive outcomes for youth and the neighborhood.

Key successes include: 82.1% of youth said they learned to get along with others, 89.3% of youth said they try to do the right thing when no one is looking, 100% of youth said they are more physically active at home, 91% reduction in violent incidences reported at or near Beatty Community Center.

After two successful years of programming and city-wide challenges in providing youth programming due to COVID-19, the demand for LiFEsports programming has continued to rise. The City, CMHA, the Lindy Infante Foundation, and other partners are once again looking to the LiFEsports Initiative to expand its programming to meet the needs of more vulnerable youth; this time serving youth living in the Linden community. The City of Columbus will open the doors to the Linden Community Center in 2021.

This state of the art recreational center will provide the facilities necessary to bring our sportbased programming to the Linden Community. While LiFEsports has secured partial funding for this new program, additional resources are needed to make it a reality. If you are aware of any potential funders interested in supporting this Initiative, please reach out to Dr. Dawn Anderson-Butcher at anderson-butcher.1@osu.edu.

Beatty Park and Recreation Center

Beatty Park and Recreation Center: Columbus Recreation & Parks