United Way, Jaguars team up for Hometown Huddle
United Way volunteers joined more than a dozen Jacksonville Jaguars players for an afternoon of community service with more than 100 Achievers For Life students Tuesday as part of the 14th Annual NFL/United Way Hometown Huddle.
The program is part of a series of volunteer projects by NFL players and the United Way in NFL markets across the U.S. to help keep students on track for graduation and to reinforce healthy, active lifestyles.
“United Way and the NFL enjoy one of the longest and most successful partnerships in sports history and Hometown Huddle is just one example of our combined commitment to the community,” Connie Hodges, United Way of Northeast Florida president, said in a news release.
“Our focus is on the building blocks of a good quality of life: education, income and health. Healthy habits, including regular school attendance, completing school work and staying active are important to achieving the goal of high school graduation and future success,” she said in the release.
Tuesday’s activities took place
at the Fan Entertainment Zone outside of EverBank Field. Activities included an obstacle course, 40-yard dash and a community service project.
The achievers program identifies sixth grade students exhibiting early warning signs of dropping out of school and provides support to students and their families through access to social services and focused academic assistance and mentoring.
The AFL initiative has served more than 3,800 students in Duval County since 2007. An evaluation of the 2010-11 school year exceeded targets with promotion rates of 97 percent, attendance rates of 98 percent and improved incoming GPAs of 1.5 to 2.5, according to United Way.