NBA star Wesley Matthews teams up to help Madison students get active

Milwaukee Bucks star Wesley Matthews has teamed up with Madison Public Schools Foundation to help launch a new initiative aimed helping students get active.
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 4:33 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Milwaukee Bucks star Wesley Matthews has come back to Madison to help give back.

He has teamed up with Madison Public Schools Foundation to help launch a new initiative aimed at making it easier for students to get active. Called ‘Play Every Day,’ this initiative will help provide funds to support the Madison Metropolitan School District, allowing faculty to replace old physical education and recess equipment, as well as help students cover participation fees.

Matthews propelled Play Every Day with an initial $50,000 gift. He is also matching up to $50,000 in donations from the community.

“It’s our responsibility to be the pillars of hope, stability and safety to our youth,” said Matthews, “My hope is that you all can the see the power our youth holds and help us positively impact kids’ lives.”

According to the CDC, being active is proven to improve grades and standardized test scores, help with memory and attention, and create deeper social interactions.

It’s because of these benefits that MPSF and Matthews are finding ways to get kids active that align with their interests. MPSF also wants to raise at least $250,000 to give physical education teachers the chance to offer a range of sports and games beyond what they can currently provide.

“We all understand the power of play, and its vital role in a student’s development,” said Melinda Heinritz, president of Madison Public Schools Foundation. “Our schools have so many great ideas and programs in place, but we need to give them additional support so they don’t have to worry about the lack of new equipment or other limitations that could keep students from getting active during the school day. Wesley’s support is allowing us to make that a reality.”

They hope to hit their $250,000 goal by September 1 so they can distribute the funds during the 2022-23 school year.

MMSD is hoping to be able to expand the ways to get their students involved. They currently have potential programs ranging from yoga to walking paths to skateboarding.

“As we continue to add more lifetime activities to our curriculum, it’s critical we have the necessary equipment to make that a reality, whether it’s during physical education class or recess,” said Ashley Riley, MMSD’s health and wellness coordinator. “Having the support of the Play Every Day initiative will allow us to unlock so many more opportunities for our students.”

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