iF Charities runs the Chicago and Winnipeg All-Star Football and Cheer camps in early June, providing free skills training to youth in underserved communities. The program targets youth ages 8 to 14 who are invited to a full day camp promoting football and cheerleading as well as social and emotional skills such as teamwork, positive peer social interactions, and goal setting. Youth are provided with lunch, healthy snacks and iF shirts.
Social and Emotional research has highlighted team sports and games as a method for youth to learn cooperation and teamwork and develop social and emotional life skills, which have direct correlation with the acquisition of interpersonal and intrapersonal qualities as well as academic success and school completion.
Since 2007, more than 3,000 youth have participated in All-Star Camps. 2014 Camp surveys showed over 3/4 of participants learned about teamwork and over half learned about goal setting and building relationships. Student participants were surveyed on the day. One stated, “If you do your best you will improve.” Another said, “When you make good choices you get good things.”