PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After school lessons can bring so many benefits to a child but they can also get expensive. More than a decade ago, a Yardley, Pennsylvania couple decided to help.
Sianna Ried is learning to move like a champ. Sianna’s father, Hikeem Carroll, says in just a year, boxing lessons have transformed her.
“Confidence level through the roof. She can fight now,” Carroll said. “Just as a person, she’s building.”
That’s the confidence that Michele and Gene Rice love to see. Michele and Gene arranged for Sianna to take lessons at Maleek Jackson Fitness Boxing Gym in Northern Liberties.
The Bucks County couple has been doing that for kids for more than 10 years.
They call it the Plant A Seed Foundation.
“We don’t want a young child not to pursue their passions because maybe their families are having financial hardships at the time,” Gene said.
Not only is Sianna getting lessons here thanks to Michele and Gene, so is 13-year-old Saahryah Baylor.
“One thing I like about it is, it teach me to fight and stuff, and it’s something to do and gets your anger out,” Saahryah said.
“They’ve absolutely love coming here. They come twice a week. They are doing wonderful,” Michele said.
Over the years, the Plant A Seed Foundation has arranged thousands of lessons for hundreds of children in everything from ballet to karate.
“We’ve helped now, in 12 years, 652 children,” Gene said. “We know if a kid’s into boxing we’re going to find Maleek. If someone’s into karate, we have three or four senseis we’ve worked with, so now we have relationships that we can go back to all the time.”
This year, they’ve been able to arrange lessons for about 40 children, planting the seeds that will keep kids growing in the right direction.
The Plant A Seed Foundation estimates it covers the cost of about $1,000 per child each year.