- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Parks and Recreation Department has received a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation to promote and fund soccer programs in city parks.

The department was one of 24 organizations nationwide to receive a grant.

Parks Commissioner Chris Cook says the money will allow the department to dramatically increase the scope of its soccer programs by attracting more participants from an untapped population of at-risk youth by increasing participant capacity, adding more locations, and offering more year-round programs.

The goal is to ensure all Boston’s youths have access to free, quality sports programs.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation awards grants to programs and projects that share their belief that the game of soccer breaks down barriers for children to live healthier, more secure, and confident lives.

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