Adopt-a-School: KIPP Heartwood Academy

Earthquakes visit KIPP Heartwood Academy to donate sports equipment as part of Verizon Adopt-a-

Adopt-a-School - KIPP Heartwood Academy

Photo Credit: 
San Jose Earthquakes

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes visited KIPP Heartwood Academy in East San Jose on Friday to donate a bevy of sports equipment collected as part of the Verizon Adopt-a-School program over the last month.

Quakes, San Francisco 49ers announce partnership

SANTA CLARA, CA – The San Jose Earthquakes and San Francisco 49ers, on behalf of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, have entered into an unprecedented inter-sport partnership to promote the South Bay as a regular host of top-tier soccer events over the next five years. While the new 68,500-seat Levi’s® Stadium is set to open this August, the Earthquakes are on track to begin play in their own 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in 2015.

The concurrent construction of these state-of-the-art neighboring venues spurred the launch of this multi-year collaboration between the Earthquakes and 49ers. When the new Earthquakes Stadium opens in 2015, the South Bay will feature two brand new stadiums with natural grass playing surfaces less than five miles apart, something no other region in the country will be able to offer.

“We are thrilled to partner with the 49ers,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “The 49ers share our vision and commitment to bringing the best possible teams from around the world to the South Bay. With two first-class stadiums just miles apart, this is the perfect spot to host international soccer games.”

In October 2013, the Earthquakes partnered with the 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority to announce that the first event ever at Levi’s® Stadium would be its match against Seattle Sounders FC on August 2. As part of the new venture, the two organizations will collaborate on bids to bring international soccer events to both stadiums and promote the greater area as an ideal training venue for international teams to prepare for key competitions and tournaments.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to work alongside the Earthquakes to bring premier soccer events to the Bay Area,” said 49ers President Paraag Marathe. “The region has a great deal to offer the international soccer community, most notably two beautiful, new facilities that will showcase the sport brilliantly. We look forward to offering sports fans a diverse collection of high caliber events at Levi’s® Stadium.”

Levi’s® Stadium and the new Earthquakes Stadium will add to the existing infrastructure of the greater area that includes luxury hotels, world-class universities and training facilities, along with the hospitable weather that helped attract the United States Men’s National Team to hold its recently completed training camp for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Palo Alto at Stanford University.

“The City of Santa Clara is excited to be able to host these top-tier games at two incredible new venues in our own backyard,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews. “It’s also an exciting opportunity for the entire Bay Area, given the huge popularity of the sport.”

"The new Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara and the new Earthquakes stadium in San Jose will be state-of-the-art venues for regional, national and international sports and entertainment events," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. "Silicon Valley has a proud history of hosting major sporting events and a diverse population full of enthusiastic sports fans from around the world. We look forward to hosting a wide variety of premier events in the years ahead."

Tickets for the Earthquakes’ Levi’s® Stadium opener remain available at

The day began when Earthquakes staff presented guest speakers Judy Tang, principal at KIPP Heartwood Academy, Liz Gallwitz from Verizon, and Earthquakes players Rafael Baca, Ellis McLoughlin and Anthony Ampaipitakwong who unveiled the sporting equipment.

The kids were then divided into groups to go outside and test out the new gear. In all, the Earthquakes and Verizon collected over 150 balls ranging from soccer balls to basketballs and tetherballs, pop-up soccer nets and cones and over 100 jerseys, shorts, and other apparel. The Shakers Squad and Earthquakes mascot ‘Q’ joined the kids in playing games on the blacktop and grass field at KIPP Heartwood Academy.

"It was great to see the smiles on the kids faces when they got outside to play," said Earthquakes midfielder Rafael Baca. "It reminded me of my days growing up playing soccer during recess. The whole experience was very rewarding."

To conclude the afternoon, Baca, Ampaipitakwong and McLoughlin signed autographs and took photographs with the children. All of the kids received their own sports bags to carry their new equipment with a logo for their respective schools.

The Earthquakes and Verizon teamed up to create the Adopt-a-School program earlier this season. Throughout September, new and gently-used sporting equipment was collected at Earthquakes games, the Verizon store on South King Road in San Jose, and at PIER 39 in San Francisco. The equipment was donated on Friday, Sept. 30 to KIPP Heartwood Academy and KIPP San Jose Collegiate at the donation drop event.

The Earthquakes will also donate sports equipment to KIPP San Jose Collegiate.