April 2, 2015
Anthony Middle School eighth-grade student Lindsey Martinez dribbles upfield while wearing a new Anthony uniform provided by a grant from the Justin J. Watt Foundation. The foundation gave $6,036 to Anthony and $6,248 to Hopper Middle School to support after-school athletics programs.
April 2, 2015—The Justin J. Watt Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Houston Texans all-pro defensive end J.J. Watt, announced donations totaling more than $12,000 to two CFISD middle schools on March 25.
The foundation, which provides funding to support middle schools’ extracurricular and athletic activities, gave $6,248 to Hopper Middle School and $6,036 to Anthony Middle School for new soccer equipment and uniforms.
The foundation’s goal is to provide children the opportunity to learn the basic character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic and perseverance in a safe and supervised environment with their peers.
The foundation has given more than $900,000 to support middle school athletics programs since its inception, including a $3,450.87 contribution to Dean Middle School in 2014.
Hopper Principal Wendi Witthaus learned about the foundation through social media, and encouraged academic achievement specialists Charlene Davis-Norris and Beverly Hurst to apply for a grant to fund its Soccer Start after-school program for at-risk students.
Hopper purchased brand-new soccer uniforms, a new soccer goal, transportation wheels for the goals, new soccer balls and shin guards with the funding. As a result, the school limited the amount that parents contributed to the cost of the program.
“Words could not begin to express our generosity towards Connie Watt and the Justin J. Watt Foundation. Since receiving these monies, it has boosted this intervention program to a higher level,” Davis-Norris said. “We are utilizing the monetary gift to help provide opportunities to our students to help enhance upon self-esteem, their attitudes through team efforts and sports and team-building so that it can transfer into their academic success. We are excited that this foundation was able to support our students in fostering student success that will ‘Lead the Way’ into a prosperous future.”
Witthaus also referred the foundation to Anthony Principal Sherma Duck, whose school also has a Soccer Start program. The Ravens used the funding for goals, uniforms, shin guards, balls and other reusable supplies.
“We are thrilled to have this support for our Soccer Start program,” Duck said. “These funds enable us to use other money on academic support for students.”
Anthony Middle School eighth-grade student Allen Gonzalez sports the new Anthony jersey during a Soccer Start match, courtesy of the Justin J. Watt Foundation.