The NFF and Pop Warner Little Scholars have partnered to promote participation, health and safety, academic achievement, and the community involvement of the young athletes who play football. Pop Warner Executive Director Jon Butler provides items of interest related to the partnership.

Imagine that it’s early 1929 shortly before the infamous Wall Street Crash.  Industry is doing well and expanding product.  Psychologist B.F. Skinner has recently shown that workers are more productive if they have more light and ventilation in their workplaces, so new factories are built with large windows to benefit both the workers and their productivity.

Now imagine being a young boy who, on weekends, walks aimlessly up the freight train track with nothing to do – except maybe throw some rocks through those inviting big windows in the factories.  Joe Tomlin, founder of Pop Warner Football, heard complaints from business managers and owners, and, realizing that those neighborhood boys needed some positive, structured outlets for their energy and spare time, founded “Jr. League Football” (the name later changed to “Pop Warner Football”, but that’s a later story for a later article).

Joe got the business owners to chip in funds to buy equipment (such as it was back then) and footballs, and began his program “to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble.”

Fast forward today -- 2013.  Throwing rocks through windows is a lot more benign than the potential troubles that lurk on the streets to tempt young boys these days.  Added to those challenges are the childhood obesity crisis and an epidemic of youth Type II Diabetes.  Those negative enticements and lifetime health issues mean that there’s more need for Pop Warner now than ever before.