SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes and the Evergreen United Education Foundation (EUEF) announced today at a press conference at Leyva Middle School in San Jose that they have established a new partnership to jointly develop soccer and education programs for local youth. The partnership will provide an afterschool tutoring program along with a soccer club named San Jose Earthquakes EU. The club team will feature teams in both the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and NorCal Premier.
The press conference was attended by San Jose District 8 Councilmember Rose Herrera, Evergreen School District Superintendent Kathy Gomez, Earthquakes President Dave Kaval, EUEF CEO Madan Bellam, Earthquakes General Manager John Doyle, Earthquakes Academy Director Fred Wilson and EUEF President Tom Huff.
“We are thrilled to partner with the San Jose Earthquakes on this unique venture,” said Madan Bellam, CEO of EUEF. “The primary goal of this partnership is to provide programs that give students and parents the tools they need for every child to reach educational excellence. We believe that combining soccer and education will help motivate students to take an active part in their academic development. This program will significantly increase the potential for these students to attend college.”
On the educational side, the program consist of afterschool tutoring from top quality local teachers on a wide range of subjects, including Mathematics, English, Student Essential Enrichment and Filmmaking. Students will be bused from their school sites to the afterschool programs at schools in the Evergreen School District. Additionally, the partnership has created the “Earthquakes Awards” program to reward students for high achievement. At the end of each quarter, students that improve their grades will be eligible to win “Earthquakes Awards”.
San Jose Earthquakes EU will feature both competitive and recreational soccer for a number of age levels. For the first year of the partnership, teams will be created for U-9 through U-12. All players in the program will wear adidas jerseys with an Earthquakes logo. Former Earthquakes assistant coach Jorge Espinoza has signed on to serve as the Director of Coaching for the club. All of the competitive teams will be formed through an open tryout process and fully licensed coaches will direct the teams. The competitive teams will be entered into the NorCal Premier league, while the remaining teams will play AYSO.
“Our club takes great pride in its community involvement and this partnership is another fantastic way to encourage academic excellence and healthy lifestyle choices among our local youth,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “We are fully committed to building strong partnerships that help the success of our local children. This partnership presents a model for future programs with youth soccer clubs and school districts that can be replicated in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area.”
All participants in both the soccer program and tutoring program will receive tickets to attend San Jose Earthquakes home games with their families. The program participants will be bused to the games and then bused back to school sites following the matches.
The Evergreen United Education Foundation was founded based on the belief that partnership between community and schools is the most certain means to achieve excellence in education and enable every child to reach his or her full potential. The foundation is a volunteer group of parents, educators, and community members dedicated to raising money and awarding grants in support of academic enrichment programs impacting over 13,000 students in the Evergreen School District in San Jose. Members of the Evergreen United teams of fund raising volunteers are hard at work to raise money for Evergreen Schools. In order to enhance the education experience beyond what the state and school district can fund, we as a community must join together to give the children the tools they need to reach educational excellence. We want to turn the funds back around into the classrooms as quickly as possible and make a real difference for the students, staff and parents. We have made tremendous progress in building our community around sports and after-school activities. The combination of our San Jose Earthquakes EU Youth Soccer and EU Adult Soccer League gives the East San Jose area a soccer community experience where parents and children can share a unique soccer identity with our Major League Soccer team, San Jose Earthquakes. For more information about EUEF, visit www.evergreenunited.org.
About San Jose Earthquakes
The San Jose Earthquakes are a Major League Soccer team that entered the league as an expansion franchise in 2008. The Earthquakes play their home matches at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Earthquakes won the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003 and captured the Supporter’s Shield in 2005. The team played in San Jose from 1996-2005 before being relocated to Houston. The Earthquakes then returned to MLS as an expansion team in 2008. In 2010, the Earthquakes qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since rejoining the league and reached the Eastern Conference Championship. The club’s non-profit arm, the San Jose Earthquakes Community Fund, focuses on health and fitness initiatives for underserved youth in the Bay Area. For more information about the Earthquakes, log on to www.sjearthquakes.com.
What they are saying:
San Jose District 8 Councilmember Rose Herrera: “As council member for the District I’m so proud to have this program here at Evergreen. I think that any time we can combine soccer, which is a wonderful asset to San Jose, with the brand new stadium soon and a lot of soccer fans here, and now our young people having an opportunity to embrace soccer and also to learn, it’s a great combination. It’s a winner.”
Earthquakes General Manager John Doyle: “It’s a very exciting program to pair education with soccer. It’s a great thing to keep these kids busy and active after school. In all our community initiatives and with our academy players we emphasize the importance of education and this program really brings everything together. We believe it will be a huge benefit for local youth.”
President of EUEF Tom Huff: “We’re committed to the education and development of every child in our community and are very grateful for the support of the Evergreen School District Board and Superintendent Kathy Gomez.”