Citizens, Giants bring Play 60 Event to Thirteenth Avenue School in Newark

Citizens makes $75K donation as part of partnership with LISC Greater Newark’s Neighbors Helping Neighborhoods program

The talk about wellness and the importance of physical activity was informative.

The music, the dancing and the photo booth were even better.

Of course, nothing topped the games of football and basketball with NFL players from the New York Giants.

Such was the day recently when the Giants teamed up with Citizens Bank and LISC Greater Newark for a Play 60 event in Newark with students from the Thirteenth Avenue School in the Fairmount Heights area.

Danny Lee, senior vice president, district sales manager, Citizens, said the event matched the vision and mission of the bank, which is quickly expanding its footprint in North Jersey.

“We’re so excited to be here in Newark, as members of the community, working with our terrific partners to get young people involved with Play 60,” Lee said. “Citizens takes pride in supporting the neighborhoods we serve, and this event is a great example of the impact we can have together.”

Citizens also offers financial support.

The event was organized in collaboration with Thirteenth Avenue School and Promise Youth University after-school and summer program to amplify LISC Greater Newark’s Neighbors Helping Neighborhoods grant program sponsorship with Citizens. In 2022, Citizens committed $75,000 to LISC in support of community development initiatives in Newark (it did the same in Brooklyn).

This funding elevates a shared commitment to neighborhood revitalization and economic resilience in Newark’s West and South wards, particularly the Fairmount Heights and Clinton Hill neighborhoods.

LISC Greater Newark Executive Director Jorge Cruz said the impact of the event can be felt in many ways.

“This event promotes a sound reminder for kids to get out and play, all while shining a light on Newark’s community revitalization and economic resiliency plans,” he said. “LISC Newark’s Neighbors Helping Neighborhoods participatory grant program and Thirteenth Avenue School being one of the 2021 recipients is a solid model of these plans in action.”

The event is part of a youth health and wellness campaign promoting active play for 60 minutes every day. The day kicked off with remarks from the representing organizations. Students then enjoyed football, basketball, games on the blacktop and other activities run by New York Giants players, who also danced along to music, took photos in a photo booth and signed autographs.

Giants players Jeff Smith, Jamison Crowder, Parris Campbell and Tomon Fox participated.

“It’s a great feeling to join two great community partners in Citizens and LISC to make such a memorable day possible for these amazing kids,” Giants Director of Community Relations & Youth Football Ethan Medley said.

“Play 60 is an important message, but it’s a lot of fun too, and I’m sure these kids are shocked that several Giants players showed up at their school to join them in their favorite games. It’s a day that we’ll never forget either, and we’re really appreciative of the staff and students for making it so special.”