“We are very excited about the F3 Soccer & Literacy program, and even more excited to add Leiah Groom-Thomas to our team. Leiah brings the quality needed to allow this program to become what we originally envisaged - a world-class soccer and education program that maximizes each child’s time with us, ” says Benjamin Levey, Executive Director of F3.
Leiah is in the final stages of receiving her PhD in Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood from The Ohio State University. Her research expertise includes young children’s literacy and comprehension skill development. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Leiah was a teacher at Grace Christian School in Blacklick, Ohio where she also assisted in organizing and operating various camp programs.
"It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with a foundation with incredible goals for the community and children across the Columbus area. I look forward to utilizing my teaching background and research training to design F3's Soccer & Literacy program and to see where we can take it in the future,” says Groom-Thomas.
F3 is currently fundraising for the after-school program. If you would like to make a contribution directly to the program please click here: Soccer & Literacy at Eakin Elementary
The first Soccer & Literacy Program took place in June 2019. Final Third Foundation, in partnership with Columbus Recreation and Parks Department (CRPD), held a week-long summer camp. The program was a success, with a total of 26 participants. Every child played soccer, read Born to Play (a soccer novel series for children), participated in teamwork and leadership games, and took part in art and writing projects. Eakin Elementary administration and CRPD have asked F3 to return to the school and expand its programming to provide an after-school option.
This February 2020, Leiah and F3 hope to begin after-school programming at Eakin for two days a week. Currently, F3 is seeking funding from grant opportunities and possible sponsors and donors.
“We want to get started. We know we can make a positive impact. We are passionate and in it for the right reasons and we have an amazing team,” says Levey.