Yesterday was our third trip to Meeting Street Academy, and this time soccer was the sport of the day. Alongside my trusty sidekick Walker Buxton, we taught the kids about passing, dribbling, and punting before beginning a scrimmage between two teams, The Crashers and The Mighty Great White Sharks. Here are some pictures from the day…
Thanks to Hali for the wonderful photography!
Last week, I held the second session of Project Playbook at Meeting St Academy. This time, we played flag football, a really fun sport, although I had to heavily emphasize that we would not be doing any tackling. With a group of around eight boys, we started off with some throwing and punting drills. Some kids were able to do these very well, throwing and punting the ball long distances. Others weren’t quite so advanced, so we worked more closely with them to teach them the finer points of the game and to help them learn the skills necessary to play. Then, much to the excitement of our little group, we began to play a full game.
Throughout the afternoon, the students were continuously enthusiastic and engaged. Their excitement made it fun for me to be out there as well, and once again I thoroughly enjoyed myself the entire afternoon. There were many times in which we were able to use certain situations to help emphasize teamwork and sportsmanship. For instance, all four of the players on one team wanted to do the kickoff. In order to settle this little dispute fairly, I held a number between 1 and 10 behind my back and had them guess to determine who would kick off. After one boy had been chosen, the others had to accept this decision and understand that next time around, it would be their turn to kick off. Little instances such as this have made me confident that these kids are truly gaining something from these sessions that will prepare them for years to come. I can’t wait to go back next time, and I’m currently trying to decide which sport to play… as of right now, I’m thinking basketball :)
Wednesday was the first official day of Project Playbook at Meeting Street Academy, and I must say that it was a success! Although the weather was perhaps a bit colder than we would have preferred, the enthusiasm of the kids and our constant movement soon rendered the blustery conditions irrelevant. I decided that our first sport would be baseball, and so first I had to acquire gloves, bats, balls, and bases from the PE department at Ashley Hall. Then I had to get volunteers. I enlisted the help of both Walker Buxton and Eva Ravenel, two students from Ashley Hall who were absolutely wonderful throughout the day.
Once we arrived at Meeting Street Academy, we were matched up with about eight third graders. After introductions, I talked a little bit about Jackie Robinson before we began practicing catching, throwing, and batting with the kids. After they felt comfortable with these aspects of the game, we moved onto a full baseball game featuring the “Lightning Destroyers” vs. the “Bulldogs”. Then, at the very end, we had a short discussion about teamwork and sportsmanship, and I gave one of the students, a girl who had cheered for players on both teams and had congratulated them all day, the “Sportsmanship Award” of the day.
Overall, I had a wonderful time during our hour at Meeting Street Academy. It was just plain fun! The kids were so excited to play and maintained their enthusiasm the entire time. I can’t wait to go back in a few weeks, and as of right now, I think we’re going to be playing flag football. It’s only been one session, but so far Project Playbook had been a truly great experience!
Just a quick update here to say that I just received confirmation that my first official visit to Meeting Street Academy will be on Wednesday, February 27th. As previously mentioned, this will just be a quick introductory session to get to know the kids and introduce myself to them. I’m super excited to get started, and can’t wait until the 27th!
This past Wednesday, I visited Meeting Street Academy to meet with Lori LaFevre, the Director of Special Programs, about Project Playbook. Ms. LaFevre was extremely kind and accommodating, and she helped me nail down most of the loose ends of my project. She’s very excited about this after school program, and I should be able to have my first session in the coming weeks! Ms. Lafevre told me that with the many after school clubs and instructors at the school, it would probably be best if I had an initial introductory session of sorts, in which I introduce myself to the kids and allow them to get to know a little bit more about me and about the club. I am currently working on setting a date for this meeting, and after that everything should get rolling.
Meeting Street Academy
When I was at Meeting Street Academy, I was so impressed with both the students and the school itself. While walking around, one little girl approached me, held out her hand to shake, introduced herself, and welcomed me to the school. Then later, another little boy offered me an eraser as a special prize. All of the children were adorable and responsible, and it was truly a testament to the quality of the program at Meeting Street. As far as resources go, the school was equipped with both a gated grassy area and an open field beyond that which I should have access to for sports. There is also a small paved area with a few basketball goals that I should be able to use as well. It was definitely a relief to see that the school at proper areas in which we’ll be able to play sports.
The two things I’m going to need to provide for each meeting are equipment and volunteers. I plan on using the PE department’s various sporting equipment to take to the school and use, bringing items such as baseball gloves and soccer balls. These things shouldn’t pose any sort of problem. In regards to people, I made an announcement the other day inquiring as to available volunteers who may be interested in helping me out. I’m happy to say that many people approached me, saying they wanted to help, and I’m sure there will be plenty more people willing to volunteer as the May deadline for community credits approaches :) So now that I have these hurdles out of the way, the final step will be to establish a set calendar of dates in which I plan on going to Meeting Street. Then, I can hold my first introductory session and get started!
The time has come to begin expanding my project out into the community. Having been inspired by the many programs and sessions run by organizations such as the NCAS and Sport in Society, I have decided to begin an after school club at nearby Meeting Street Academy called “Project Playbook”, which will use sports as a way of facilitating teamwork and leadership in young students.
If everything goes according to plan, this will be held once a month after school at either Ashley Hall or Meeting Street. We will play a different sport each month, and I will be able to tell the kids about a particular athlete who made a difference through that sport. Then, we can have a discussion afterwards in which the student will be able to talk about what they learned by participating in the sport, whether it be teamwork, problem solving, or leadership.
I’ve already submitted my proposal to Meeting Street Academy, and I’m set to meet next week with Ms. Lori LaFevre, the Director of Special Programs at the school, to discuss logistics and planning for the club. Hopefully, everything will get worked out and I’ll be able to get Project Playbook underway next month. In the meantime, I’ll need to start nailing down some more aspects of the club, such as volunteers, a set curriculum, and more. Fingers crossed that it all goes according to plan!