As part of MLS Unites, a league-wide platform designed to educate communities, entertain fans and elevate heroic efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the league unveiled a week-long series of free digital programming and activities starting Monday, April 13 to inspire children to stay active and healthy while social distancing.
MLS WORKS, the League’s social responsibility platform, is teaming up with community partners EverFi, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and UNICEF USA to provide free at-home resources for kids.
- MLS Actions Matter – In response to the extensive shutdown of schools in the U.S. and Canada, EVERFI, a leading social impact education innovator, is making a new Family Portal available that allows parents to receive direct access to a library of 20+ digital courses for K-12 students throughout the remainder of the school year. This includes a digital curriculum called MLS Actions Matter that addresses bullying prevention and community building. To sign up, visit the EVERFI Family Portal.
- Soccer for Success at Home – A free, digitized version of U.S. Soccer Foundation’s after-school program, Soccer for Success, is available for kids. Featuring resources and activities to help stay active, healthy in body and mind, and informed while school is out, Soccer for Success at Home provides an assortment of important life skills resources.
- UNICEF Kid Power – UNICEF Kid Power is a free digital platform with interactive videos that help kids feel energized and empowered. Whether dancing, practicing yoga or learning emotional skills like stress management, UNICEF Kid Power Up videos help children get all their energy out by keeping them moving. When kids get active with UNICEF Kid Power, they unlock therapeutic food that UNICEF delivers to severely malnourished children around the world. And with schools closed nationwide, incorporating Kid Power into daily at-home schedules will provide children with a true sense of security while empowering them with a feeling of control and purpose. The more your child moves, the more valuable they’ll feel AND the more lives they’ll help save! Kids and families are invited to participate and can get started today at: unicefusa.org/MLSUNITES.
Throughout the week, the League and clubs will also have a series of youth-inspired digital programs involving players, coaches, staff, partners, and fans. A sampling is detailed below, with more to be featured on @MLS and @MLS WORKS, as well as club social platforms.
- #SaveWithStories – MLS players are reading children’s books on social media in support of #SaveWithStories, an online activation in partnership with nonprofit organizations ‘Save the Children’ and ‘No Kid Hungry.’ #SaveWithStories helps raise both awareness and donations for ‘No Kid Hungry,’ an organization that provides food for children who rely on school meals. A sampling of participating clubs includes FC Cincinnati, Nashville SC, and Portland Timbers, among others. A full list of participating players, featured books and times, will be posted at mlssoccer.com/mls-unites/to-inspire-kids.
- San Jose Earthquakes – Featuring Earthquakes players such as Shea Salinas, San Jose is offering a weekly series where kids can stay fit and active while at home called “Get EQ Fit presented by Sutter Health.”
- Los Angeles Football Club – LAFC launched a four-week workout series designed by head performance coach Daniel Guzman called Black & Gold Home Workout Series, presented by adidas. Designed for all fitness levels, new workouts will be posted every Thursday.
- New York Red Bulls – Featuring defender Tim Parker, the New York Red Bulls will host a virtual workout for kids on Wednesday, April 15 on Instagram Live. Red Bulls will also distribute the latest workouts for their weekly training plan targeted at youth soccer players called “Train at Home ” which features soccer technical skills and fitness. “Train at Home” program offers demonstrations for each working and includes surprise appearance from first team players, trainers and freestyle team. The Red Bulls are also offering crossword puzzles, word searchers and coloring book pages, presented by Brisas.
- Real Salt Lake – Real Salt Lake’s Director of Sports Science, Matt Howley, and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Ryan Cotter, are hosting a “Stay Active with America First Credit Union,” workout series every Thursday at 5 p.m. local time for youth to keep up their soccer skills while social distancing.
- Vancouver Whitecaps Clubhouse – ‘Caps Clubhouse, presented by BCAA, is the Vancouver Whitecaps’ new children’s program that will feature a book reading session with a player or club ambassador and a sign-language interpreter. A fun activity will follow each reading session, such as a sing-a-long, arts and crafts and more. For a full schedule of ‘Caps Clubhouse, visit whitecapsfc.com/capsclubhouse.
MLS Unites was launched in partnership with the Major League Soccer Players Association. For additional ways the initiative is inspiring kids, follow #MLSUnites. For more information, visit mlssoccer.com/mls-unites/to-inspire-kids.