About Project GOAL
Project GOAL (Greater Opportunity for Athletes to Learn), is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. We are comprised of education, business, and sports professionals whose mission is to facilitate the development of Rhode Island's disadvantaged youth through after-school tutoring and soccer-related programs. Our goals are to foster opportunity through the employment of a nurturing after school environment, academic tutoring, health/nutrition information, exercise, and safe facilities, while exposing the children and their families to models of positive healthy lifestyles. Our program is unprecedented in Rhode Island and Southern New England in that it:
- Combines the benefits of academic achievement with the motivation and self-discipline of sports.
- Promotes educational opportunity.
- Combats the growing problems of illiteracy, school delinquency, adolescent crime and obesity.
Project GOAL currently operates it's after school program for sixth, seventh and eighth grade children from Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls every Monday and Friday from 3 to 6PM. The students are selected for their passion for soccer and academic potential. Our program is provided at no charge to the participants but the students are encouraged to "earn" time on the field by exhibiting good schoolwork habits.
GOAL participants work with professional educators to improve their study skills and habits with emphasis on strengthening weak areas of their schoolwork. They also have the opportunity to learn from and meet members of the health, business and sports community who advise on the importance of education and a healthy lifestyle.
After a one-and-a-half hour schoolwork period, the children are directed to either the gym or soccer fields where accredited coaches - former professional soccer players - provide superior coaching. In addition to our own coaching staff, GOAL invites active, well-known professional players to provide special clinics.
The demographics in the cities we address are well-suited to soccer interest. These areas are comprised primarily of Latino, African and Asian peoples. Current Rhode Island statistics indicate a mix of: 10% Latino, 8% Black or African and 4% Asian, with 3% classified as "other". This minority population equates to approximately 25% of Rhode Island's population, or about 300,000 people.
Soccer occupies an important component in the lives of GOAL's targeted groups; it is the "lure" for enlisting the students' willing participation. The fact that the sport is an important link to their cultural roots is evidenced through casual conversation, or by observing the thousands of families who gather to watch and play every weekend in park fields off of Rte 146, India Point Park in Providence, Higginson Park in Central Falls, Lusitano Field in Pawtucket and many other areas.
GOAL "fills the gap" created by major cuts in after-school programming and activities by offering an all around program that provides a "haven" and structured activities for needy students, not only after school but during summer and school vacations. We welcome and we need your support, either financially or as a volunteer.
There are few organized youth activities in our inner cities. High registration fees and transportation problems restrict or prohibit access to programs outside local communities. Project GOAL has enjoyed a great deal of community support since we launched in October 2004, but limited resources have forced us to turn many candidates away. There is growing community interest to expand our programs to other needy areas in Rhode Island, and eventually throughout Southern New England. We need your support to ensure the future of this worthy project. Click here if you wish to lend a hand.