CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard University is kicking off the 2009 football season with a new "Crimson Kids" program.
Beginning Sept. 25 at the home opener and continuing through the rest of the season, all Harvard football games played at Harvard Stadium will be free to children 12 and under.
Children, families, and football-lovers of all ages are also invited to attend the Fan Zone, starting two hours prior to game time and at half-time, where they can take part in activities such as face painting, music, games, prizes, raffles, and more.
Children will also have access to the field after the game, where they can enjoy Harvard Stadium from the players' perspectives.
"We're incredibly fortunate to have a supportive fan base in our surrounding communities," said Bob Scalise, Nichols Family Director of Athletics. "We want to welcome even more youth to be able to experience Harvard Football.
"This program will also build on our players' ongoing efforts to engage with local children and provide positive role-models for youngsters from our neighborhoods," he added.
Each year hundreds of student-athletes from Harvard's 41 intercollegiate athletic teams participate in multiple community outreach efforts.
Recently, the men's soccer team held a clinic for children from the Boston Public Schools and the women's volleyball team hosted a clinic for Big Sisters of Boston. The Harvard men's lacrosse team visited the Boys and Girls Club of Cambridge to teach the basic skills of lacrosse to youngsters. They also volunteered to help build houses with Habitat for Humanity.
With 41 varsity sports, Harvard has the largest Division 1 school athletics program in the country. The following fall sports are free to the public: cross country, field hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, women's volleyball, and men's water polo. Schedules and venues are available on GoCrimson.com.
For Harvard football tickets, tailgating packages, and youth football fundraising opportunities, visit GoCrimson.com or call 617.495.2211.
For other programs at Harvard that link Harvard students, faculty, and research with local communities, go to www.communityservice.harvard.edu/programs.