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The vice-president of FC Barcelona and its Foundation, Jordi Cardoner, attended a meeting today with the deputy chancellor of New York, Elizabeth Rose, and the director of public relations at Goya Foods, Rafael Toro, to celebrate the setup of the FutbolNet sport and values program at different secondary schools in the US city.

Former players Thierry Henry and Juliano Belletti, plus directors Jordi Moix, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Enrique Tombas, as well as FC Barcelona CEO Òscar Grau were also present.

The program begins in September with 300 children at three schools in Queens. The Department of Education will be keeping close tabs on the pilot project with an eye to including FutbolNet in the school physical education curriculum or among extracurricular activities.

The tutors on the three pilot projects will be attending intensive training sessions organized by the FC Barcelona Foundation this summer, and FutbolNet specialists will be providing guidance and support in the fall.

Last year, FC Barcelona signed an agreement on intentions with the NYC Department of Education, which was presented at a school in the Bronx at an event featuring Ronaldinho.

FC Barcelona Sports Methodology: ‘FutbolNet’

The FutbolNet methodology uses sport as a neutral platform for dealing with social issues and educating on values to stimulate young people. The program has been tried and tested in many countries and contexts and proven to have an impact on change for good.

FutbolNet is currently being implemented with 450,000 childredn aged 8 to 18 years in 54 different countries, but this is the first time that it has been introduced to the United States.

Statement by Jordi Cardoner, vice-president of FC Barcelona and its Foundation

“FutbolNet has been shown to be a tool for the prevention of violence and reduction of aggressive behaviors, combating absenteeism, and for fostering social cohesion. Our experience in 50 countries attests that and now we are starting the program in the United States. New York will be the first city in the country where we will be showing the power of soccer as a means of development and we are sure that other cities will welcome the scheme with the same enthusiasm”.

Statement by Elisabeth Rose, Education Deputy Chancellor for New York

"Sport offers an educational moment and for pupils it means the chance to be active and play a part in their school community, developing important emotional and social skills that will help them to be successful in the classroom and beyond. FutbolNet will teach pupils to learn to work as a team, to resolve conflicts and to communicate respectfully. I thank the FC Barcelona Foundation and Goya Foods for their support and hope we can take this program to the schools in Queens this fall".

Statement by Rafael Toro, Director of Public Relations at Goya Foods

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the children of New York to be part of a worldwide organization in an environment of self-respect and trust where personal skills are modeled for life.”

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