To Our Philadelphia Sports Teams – We Need Your Help

[Update: I’ve started a petition to gather support for this issue. Please take a moment to add your name.]

To the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, Soul, Union and Wings,

The kids of Philadelphia are some of your biggest fans. They wear your shirts and hats. They go to your games. They cheer for you. They celebrate with you when you win, and they agonize with you when you lose.

And now, the kids need your help.

I’m sure that you’ve read about the dire conditions facing the School District of Philadelphia. The schools are facing down $300 million in cuts. Next year, the School District isn’t able to provide any funding for counselors for schools… there isn’t even funding for secretaries, and we all know that school secretaries are the ones who really run the schools.

And in that context, the School District has had to de-fund high school athletics.

You can help us there.

Last year, Philadelphia sports teams had over $800 million in revenues. The entire athletics budget of the School District of Philadelphia was $7.1 million this year. Less than one percent of your revenues would fully fund athletics for the students of Philadelphia.

No one needs to tell you how important sports are for kids and schools. You know the joy a community takes in a winning team. You know all the lessons young people learn when they work hard and sacrifice for a team. You know that for so many of our student-athletes, sports are the reason they finish high school. And you know that for so many of our student-athletes, the relationship they have with their coaches are among the most important mentoring relationships in their lives.

We need your help.

We cannot lose all that athletics mean to our schools.

Our kids are your fans, a couple of our kids will be your future stars, our kids are your city.

Fund our student-athletes. They need the chance to play.

Thank you for your time,
Chris Lehmann
Science Leadership Academy

[Philadelphians and friends of Philadelphia – feel free to add your name as co-signers in the comments.]

35 thoughts on “To Our Philadelphia Sports Teams – We Need Your Help

  1. Please-we need your help! Sincerely, Holly Shaw-Hollis, a dedicated teacher, student mentor, and technology facilitator of 23 years for the School District of Philadelphia

  2. The logic of profitable professional sports teams and players providing funds for student athletic programs is both reasonable and forward-thinking. It’s an innovative idea that could help so many students in our region. What’s more, this community leadership model is portable. That is, the model could work well here, and could be duplicated in so many other places here the need is great. This is a terrific example of 21st century thinking about both education and community responsibility. I wonder whether a task force of community leaders could get together and begin the process if making this happen. If I can be helpful, count me in.

  3. Hey Andrew Bynum!

    For less than half of the 17 million you made this year, you could fund the entire athletic department. They say that true athlete should contribute on and off the court – why don’t you start with one?

    Andrew Saltz

  4. As one who is a product of the district and works with employees of the district I agree with this idea. One per cent of your revenue which you will write off on your taxes, is not asking much. Now is the time for all good teams to come to the aid of the students of Philadelphia. (Some may recognize that last sentence as something that was taught in typing class, something that is no longer offered to our students).

  5. I couldn’t agree more Chris. Consider me a co-signer.
    Michael J. Calderone, Principal/Phillies & Eagles season ticket holder- I hope they do the right thing and support those who support them.

  6. Please consider me a co-signer. Philadelphians make Philly work!
    Rabiya Kassam-Adams

  7. Zoe Siswick, Counselor and Softball Coach at Science Leadership Academy, proud former School District of Philadelphia student-athlete and die-hard Philadelphia sports fan.

  8. Philly teams, please support the kids who aspire to be like you! Can you imagine not being able to play in HS? Stand up for the future: today’s kids! -Fran Poodry, teacher (formerly in Philly)

  9. What is Philadelphia without our sports?

    Great idea, Chris. Let us know how we can help make it happen.


  10. As an educator and a parent who knows how participation in sports can make a critical difference in the social, emotional, and academic life of a student, I am asking you to please support the children of Philadelphia – some of your fiercest fans!

  11. I’m an 11th grader at Science Leadership Academy. I never really was the one to play sports, but this year I joined the running team… And I love it! I couldn’t imagine how much it hurts a kid when they’re held back from something they love to do.

  12. As a parent of a student athlete and as a teacher I fully support this brilliant suggestion to fund the sports program for the SDP.

  13. Chris,

    Your request makes a lot of sense. If I recall the public -our tax dollars- financially supported the building of sports stadiums like the “Linc.” The Eagles and other sports teams that benefit from our support and tax dollars should be compelled to not only support our districts sports teams but our academic programs too. TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!

  14. As a parent of two students from the SDP, I, Serafet Abazoska, fully support this initiative. Philly youth needs support, please help!!!

  15. This is a wonderful idea and I hope everyone supports this; we need the help of the entire community to win this fight!

    Nicole Son-Culbreth
    Teacher, School District of Philadelphia

  16. Im co-signing as Brian Torres. Im planning on playing baseball next year, so I really need these sports.

  17. I’m a fan of Philly sports and Philly’s public schools. This is a wonderful idea and should be supported.

  18. The positive impact sports has on our kids as well as your support cannot be underestimated.. Thank you

  19. Great idea!!! Paying it forward.Consider me a signer. Lisa Lombo- Padilla

  20. we have grandchildren who attend school in phila and i say a huge amen to the above letter. my husband is a loyal fan of you on the phillies baseball team and we know you are generous people , so please hear the plea to help the dear children of phila. thanks and God bless. consider us co-signers.
    jake and loretta lapp