G.R.A.S.S.P. Mission

GRASSP is a school-based program to engage at-risk students through soccer to identify with, connect to, participate in, learn from and enjoy school – as well as develop good character & good decision-making skills for life.

G.R.A.S.S.P. Method

Through soccer, students learn life skills such as fair play, teamwork, discipline and leadership. The program has grown to 12 elementary schools in the Salem-Keizer School District since its beginnings at Swegle Elementary School in 2010.

GRASSP is a collaboration between Salem-Keizer School District, Salem Leadership Foundation, Capital Futbol Club and Calvary Chapel.

GRASSP teams are schools based. Schools interested in becoming a GRASSP school should first identify school staff and students interested in participating. The team of GRASSP coordinators will then work with each school to ensure they have the necessary equipment, coaching guides, tournament information, etc. Click here to learn more! 

G.R.A.S.S.P. Goal


    • Soccer skills
    • Good sportsmanship
    • The value of teamwork, dedication & hard work
    • Good decision making skills
    • Winning with humility and losing with dignity
    • The value of education and community
    • Manners
    • Appreciation for parents, family and teachers

G.R.A.S.S.P. Beginnings

GRASSP was a collaboration that developed in 2010 at the request of Corina
Valencia Chavez, the Principal at Swegle Elementary School. Dave Irby with the Cascade Surge Soccer Team was contacted by Ms. Chavez to discuss the potential for an after school soccer program at Swegle Elementary. Dave Irby set up a meeting with Ms. Chavez and invited Calvary Chapel of Salem and Salem Leadership Foundation to attend.

The vision of Ms. Chavez was this: “If you can get the students to come to and stay in school we can get them educated.” 

Hence, an after school soccer program was started with students that the school administration selected for the program. The program was aimed at engaging students who for several reasons did not connect with their school. Soccer was chosen as the vehicle due to soccer’s international popularity.

Dave Irby linked Calvary Chapel with Likius Hafeni, a gifted soccer player and coach seeking higher education in America. Likius had played as a member of the Cascade Surge Soccer Team in Salem. He also has the second-highest coaching certification through FIFA. In the fall of 2010, Coach Likius started the first after- school soccer program at Swegle Elementary with 25 students.

Simple Agreement

To participate in GRASSP and coach students at the elementary level, we agree to:

    • Focus on students in need of connection and participation in school, in cooperation with school administrators and staff.
    • Participate in the training of students using the GRASSP format and curriculum.
    • Hold soccer practice and team huddles on a weekly basis, as school schedules allow.
    • Participate in periodic tournaments with other GRASSP teams.
    • Participate in bi-monthly meetings with other coaches and GRASSP staff.
    • Take periodic surveys of the students in program to determine level of impact on students.