Huge Donation turns local middle schoolers into big ballers

February 25, 2019
News 12 this Morning

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Louisville Middle School doesn't have much but, thanks to a huge donation from the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and Good Sports, they are becoming big ballers.

"We are a small school. We're high poverty, Title I school. 100% free and reduced lunch and it means a lot to our kids," Louisville Athletic Director, Kurt McGahee explains. "We have a lot of equipment need, and athletics, and PE, fine arts, and stuff like that are the first to get cut out of the budget when you're cutting money."

Any opportunity thrown at these students is taken and ran with, McGahee says. Submitting a video to the ATL Youth Foundation was no exception.

"Most of our projects we usually take a couple weeks, two to three weeks to make them. We try to do stuff like this so they can see an end result in it and not just make a video to make a video."

For Louisville Middle students, a small class assignment turned into over $50,000 in physical education equipment.

"I got the email and I was already thinking that's a pretty good video we might have a chance to win one of the prizes. Maybe ninth or tenth place. Maybe $1000 dollars or something like that. When I open up the email and saw the first line, 'congratulations you are the grand prize winner,' it was a shock, it was definitely a shock," McGahee said excitedly.

The students tell News 12 before this donation they were playing with deflated balls, and worn equipment; new equipment was definitely needed.

"We didn't have really good equipment and the equipment was really old and getting tore up," seventh grader, Grace Simpson explains.

Moxley Burton, Junior, adds, "We really need this equipment and I was just really shocked that we could help produce some equipment for my school."

Now their athletic teams and physical education program is prepared to take on any rival.

"We have a real good basketball team, baseball team, and soccer team, and we can also use the equipment in PE and other stuff; and even in our free time and we have like PBIS days and Hoops for Heart," says, seventh grader, Matthew Lewis.

Georgia is the eighth highest state in youth obesity. Whether big or small; any donation can help lower rates. This donation just happened to be huge.

Abby Lutzenkirchen, with the ATL Youth Foundation, explains why they chose Louisville Middle.

"We have video essays and submissions from across the state and our committee just loved Louisville's video, and it's a part of the state that we really haven't reached yet and we really wanted to make a big impact here."