Through a series of volleyball clinics, Dig 4 Kids will provide financial and personnel support for volleyball programs at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. We will be reaching out to over 5,000 kids during a three month period. Academics will serve as an integral compliment to the athletic program with tutors on hand to attend to the individual needs of students in the program. The goal of the Digging Education program is to provide youth in disadvantaged areas with an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of volleyball and to receive individual attention through tutoring so that we may promote interdependence between sports and education. Clinics will focus on the importance of teamwork and communication skills and encourage mentoring, volunteering and leadership. Dig 4 Kids will target select communities in need to offer the Digging Education program in two parts.
Part I: Elementary and Middle School Kids
Part I of the Digging Education program focuses on collaborating with the local Boys and Girls Club (B&G Club) to recruit elementary and middle school kids (grades 4-7) that will benefit from participating in the weekly program. The program is conducted at either the local B&G Club or high school gym for three hours after school, once a week, for 8 weeks. The volleyball instruction is conducted by the best professional volleyball players in the country, along with high school athlete coaching assistants, and a certified trainer. Two hours are dedicated first to academic support and then to the volleyball portion for the final hour. The academic staff, comprised of qualified tutors and teachers, also provides guidance counseling.
Part II: High School Kids
Part II of the Digging Education program focuses on high school kids in grades 9-12, and provides coaching assistance and resource support to the girls and boy’s high school volleyball teams. Dig 4 Kids utilizes its extensive network of volleyball professionals to hire an assistant coach who will attend daily practices and games and work closely with the head coach to enhance personal instruction for each team member. In addition, D4K provides game uniforms, new nets, and regulation volleyballs to each high school team in the Digging Education program. This support fills a great need, as many teams are currently struggling to come up with funds to purchase the most basic equipment. In addition, D4K trains volunteer athletes from the high school teams to serve as coaching assistants and mentors for the younger children in Part I of the Digging Education program hosted at the Boys and Girls Club. High school athletes assist with D4K during their off season so that no practices or games will be missed during their regular season. Finally, D4K will also host exhibitions that include a volleyball match with student players against professional players to encourage school enthusiasm and support for the less-traditional sport.
Part III: Kerri Walsh EVA Scholarship (Excellence in Volleyball & Academics)
The Kerri Walsh EVA Scholarship is a competitive award for outstanding high school student athletes. Dig 4 Kids will award a scholarship to two male and two female high school senior athletes who will continue with their college education. Awards will be made on a yearly basis. Scholarships will be awarded to student athletes based on excellence in their sport, academic achievement, community service and overall character. Nominations for the scholarship will be requested from coaches during the academic year.
Dig For Kids Club Volleyball Team
To fulfill our goal of encouraging skilled student athletes to dream big, D4K will organize and support the D4K Club Volleyball Team. This team will be comprised of kids that are interested in seriously pursuing volleyball and would benefit from year-round competition. As many coaches know, few college recruiters look towards lower-income schools because students have not had the resources to participate in intensive club team sports. D4K’s team will represent a group of dedicated student athletes that are willing to work hard and aim for collegiate-level play. Soon enough, recruiters will be looking towards the inner-cities for their new talent.
Pilot Phase – Carson, CA
The pilot program of “Digging Education” was a tremendous success and gar nered the praise of parents, teachers, civic leaders and most importantly the 100 plus students who participated. D4K chose the multi-ethnic, resource-challenged community of Carson for the pilot phase due largely to the level of need in the community, as expressed during our recent focus group by Karen Blanke the girls volleyball coach at Carson High School. Blanke stated that, “My girls need $50 to buy a practice T-shirt, game T-shirt, and shorts… and they’re really struggling.” The program provided the team with these essential needs and in turn each of the team members assisted the younger participants throughout the volleyball instruction portion of the program. The girls went on to to win their first league championship in the schools history and credit the mentoring and support of Dig 4 Kids for this accomplishment. Dig 4 Kids was able to help the kids of Carson reach “up” to role models instead of reaching “out” to the various gangs and violent groups that currently exist in the area. Carson’s population of approximately 90,000 is almost equally divided between the Hispanic, African-American, Pacific-Islander, and Caucasian ethnic groups.
Evaluation, Monitoring and Impact
All Dig 4 Kids activities will be consistently documented and monitored to ensure that program activities are being effectively implemented and that program protocol, which insists on the treatment of all individuals with courtesy and respect, is being followed. In addition, evaluation instruments including self-reports, key-informant interviews, and questionnaires will be conducted before and after each three-month session to measure both the qualitative and quantitative impact of our activities. In this way, Dig 4 Kids will ensure that the program is meeting both the needs of our target communities and our partners. Expected Results Dig 4 Kids believes that participation in organized athletics combined with academic support will improve self-esteem, reduce stress, improve health, improve team-play skills, and positively influence student attitudes towards academic achievement. The Digging Education project expects to see a significant increase in awareness about the importance of: striving to obtain a higher education, avoiding negative social influences, developing good study habits, using proper study techniques, developing time-management skills, and maintaining daily organization methods. The project also expects to connect each elementary and middle school participant with an older high school mentor, and to provide successful, college-educated, sports professionals as role models for all participants.
Dig 4 Kids founder, Eric Fonoimoana has initiated a program to raise money through his professional volleyball athletic sponsors based on his performance during competition. The term “dig” comes from a defensive volleyball play. Pledges are being collected for each dig made by Mr. Fonoimoana during tournament play. D4K is also currently enlisting other professional volleyball players to participate in the program.
Through pledge support, high school athletes from our target communities will raise money according to their athletic performance. This program will echo that of Mr. Fonoimoana on the professional tour. It will be conducted at each of the games and allow the team and their communities to participate directly with their efforts.
Summer Fun and Winter Warmth Celebrations
D4K has hosted 10 fundraising event. Each event consists of a live auction, silent auction, dancing and other fun entertainment. Many athletes, celebrities and sponsors have joined in the festivities.
Dig For Kids Celebrity Golf Tournament
Dig 4 Kids hosted its 1st annual celebrity golf tournament April 9, 2001 to raise funds for the foundation. Professional volleyball players, as well as other sports and entertainment celebrities will be recruited to raise awareness of the need for athletic program support in low-income communities, and to raise money in support of D4K programs.
Dinner with the Stars
Dig 4 Kids will bring both indoor and beach volleyball stars to your town, along with other pro athletes from the surrounding areas. There is a fee for the ticket to attend, which includes Dinner and Drinks. The evening also includes a silent auction and a raffle.
Dig 4 Kids will apply for grants and in kind donations from public, private and corporate funders in order to meet the financial needs of the foundation. Other celebrity and athletic events will also comprise the total package of funding sources.
We need your Support!
Dig 4 Kids is seeking funding for its programs from a variety of sources. Our goal is to conduct 6 complete “Digging Education” Programs per year. Each program segment for approximately 60-100 students costs approximately $28,000.00 for an 8 week period.
Our pilot program was funded from a combination of contributions from the City of Carson, other local foundations, Pro Digs and the generosity of select corporate sponsors. Due to the success of our pilot program, it may be possible to engage the civic leaders in and local businesses for ongoing support of these programs establishing a solid base for the youth of their city.
As we approach prospective donors and sponsors, we have outlined different programs in which contributions can be made based on the philanthropic goals and/or sponsorship designs of contributors. Some corporations might choose to have their involvement with Dig 4 Kids be a partnership to bring greater awareness to their activities in communities that patronize their business. Other foundations, have chosen to simply provide funding as part of their mission to meet their charitable mandates.
We welcome all prospective donors to consider how they might best participate with us in making this program available to these special youth. We recognize that you have many choices of giving and hope that this program would warrant serious consideration from your company or foundation. The number of programs we are able to provide will depend on the total amount of resources we are able to secure. We appreciate your time and thank you for your consideration.