Thirteen California high schools have received grants for their athletics programs, thanks to the California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant initiative. They are among 85 high schools in 38 states receiving a total of $101,500 for struggling athletics programs.

Budget cuts have affected most of these schools. Many of them – rural, urban and suburban – have populations with a majority of the students coming from low-income households, where just keeping food on the table is difficult. There’s no household budget for uniforms, transportation or participation fees. In many of their communities, high school is their only access to team athletics; there are no local club or recreational opportunities. Despite the challenges, some school athletic programs have enacted “no cut” policies so that anyone who wishes can participate, or started up a team when none had existed for decades, or simply learned to make do with substandard or non-existent facilities. Some of their teams face shut-down because their equipment doesn’t meet current day safety standards. Many have fielded state champions and all have recognized the tangible and intangible interplay between athletic participation and academic success. For the first time in its history, an alternative high school introduced sports and saw its students’ grades, behavior and attendance soar.

The Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant will help each of these 13 schools in purchasing new equipment and uniforms, or by providing funds for transportation, or covering a variety of costs for students who could not otherwise afford to participate.

Grants were made to: Buena Park High School; Centennial High School (Compton); Chico High School; Covina High School; Donald Jamison High School (Lemoore); Galileo Academy of Science and Technology (San Francisco); Leuzinger High School (Lawndale); Livermore High School; Loara High School (Anaheim); Lone Pine High School; Mountain Empire High School (Pine Valley); San Bernardino High School; and Shandon High School.

Shrinking state education budgets, pressure on schools to focus efforts on academics, and diminishing funds for athletics inspired California Casualty Chairman and CEO Beau Brown to establish the grant program in honor of his father – Chairman Emeritus Tom Brown, a lifelong athlete and sportsman. The senior Brown experienced firsthand the complementary relationship between athletics and academics.

For more information about the Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant program, visit

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