Transforming Communities Through Youth Sports

About Active Children PortlandAC Portland Kids Stretching

Active Children Portland keeps children active in their club, classroom, and community. Programming is an active and holistic approach to childhood development, which includes sports, creative writing, nutrition education, and service learning projects.

Active Children Portland’s mission is to empower students to lead healthy lives, succeed academically, and inspire positive community engagement. The organization began in 2011 with the vision to transform communities and serve hundreds of local students through youth sports. Active Children Portland program participants receive programming 30 weeks a year, 4 days per week, which keeps them active, healthy, and engaged in a positive and stable after-school environment. Our programs focus on helping all participants to develop the confidence and life skills they need to succeed. We believe that by taking a holistic and comprehensive approach to youth-development, and by focusing on kids who need it the most, we CAN make a positive difference for the next generation.

Today, Active Children Portland delivers 30 weeks of after-school programming to over 600 under-served, urban elementary and middle school students at eleven different sites throughout the Portland metro area. 97% of the children enrolled in our programs qualify for free or reduced lunches. In fall and spring, we engage youth through America SCORES and Soccer for Success (US Soccer Foundation) programming, which integrates soccer, creative writing, nutrition education, and community service projects. In January 2014, we expanded our winter programming to include PeacePlayers International, a peace building and leadership development curriculum that uses basketball to bring children together and teach proven tactics for improving their communities.




Meet this week’s Active Children Portland’s Player of the week! Bona Kalil is going to be a 7th grader at Cesar Chavez school. Soccer is Bona’s favorite sport and this will be his 5th year in our program. Bona was born and raised in Ethiopia. He moved to the United States when he was five and at the time could not speak English. Playing soccer was a way for him to connect with others and make friends in his community.

The Active Children Portland program has provided Bona with the opportunity to not only develop his soccer skills, it has helped him understand the importance of nutrition combined with physical exercise. Bona enjoyed eating junk food and drinking soda but after being a part of the Active Children Portland program he now says that too much soda and junk food isn’t helpful. He wants to balance his intake of junk food with healthier food choices.

Bona’s coaches have taught him to stay humble and have good sportsmanship. He sees the importance of going to practice every day in order to learn the skills necessary to become a better player. In the same way, he feels that it is very important for him to go to school every day in order to get a good education. He is a firm believer in good sportsmanship. He helps players stop fights and will help his teammates and opponents up when they fall down. For Bona, good sportsmanship goes beyond the soccer field, it is an attitude that he carries with him everywhere he goes. He believes that having good sportsmanship will help him get into a good college and further his education.

Bona understands that the skills he is learning with Active Children Portland is about more than just soccer, it’s about life. He sees the big picture, has big dreams, and is thankful for the opportunities that have been given to him. His teammates and coaches rave about his character, the energy he brings with him every day, and his commitment to become better both on and off the soccer pitch. Active Children Portland is honored to recognize Bona Kalil as this week’s player of the week



America Scores is a program that Active Children Portland has partnered with that integrates soccer, poetry and service-learning, with an approach that improves students’ health, academic achievement.


One of our favorite thing about soccer is how it connects people from different backgrounds in a fun and meaningful way.

USSFlogo“Soccer for Success provides children in under-served urban communities with structured physical activity, nutrition education and mentorship – at no cost to their families.”

AmericaSCORESlogoThe America Scores program encompasses soccer, creative writing, and service learning, to inspire urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.