Grant exceeding $20,000 expands soccer program in Northeast KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Besides a workout, soccer practice is also a health lesson in Northeast Kansas City. Soccer for Success is a free after school program that targets healthy lifestyles currently available in Northeast KC. For these third graders, they started playing the game at a young age.

Eight-year-old Carson Chalupnik said he started when he was only three.

The Mattie Rhodes Center received a grant for more than $20,000 from the U.S. Soccer Foundation. This allows three Northeast schools to provide this program to students.

"It's really helped to bring the community together. Kansas City in particular, we are growing a growing multicultural city, more so in the Northeast where we’re at. It's not uncommon to go to a school in the Northeast and over 20 different languages are spoken. For me, soccer is that universal language. everyone understands football," said John Feirro, the Mattie Rhodes president.

Students at J.A. Rogers, Whittier, and Garfield elementary schools will be able to join this after school program when the school season starts. They will also get a jersey, shin guards and soccer ball.

The Soccer for Success grant actually started last year. It was such a hit with the students that the grant was renewed for the 2014 school year.

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