In partnership with Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) we’re piloting a new after school soccer league this Fall at Title I elementary schools Cora Kelly and William Ramsay. By hosting the program immediately after school, at no additional cost, the introductory league experience is structured to eliminate all barriers to participation.
When the kids get out of school our volunteer coaches divide them into groups by gender and grade and give every kid a healthy snack. We talk to them about healthy eating and how important it is to give their bodies fuel so that they can run fast and play hard.
On the first day of the league we handed out jerseys that the kids will wear each week on their soccer day. At Cora Kelly K-2nd graders play on Tuesday afternoons and 3rd-5th graders play on Friday afternoons. At William Ramsay 1st-5th graders all participate on Wednesdays.
After snack time we walk the kids to fields we’ve set up — at both schools the fields are located in a large grassy area adjacent to the school—and divide the kids into teams. Then it’s game time, which lasts for about 40 minutes! The goal of the league is for kids to be active, have fun and grow their love for soccer. We’ve found that kids in some age groups want to play the entire time while others enjoy a break here and there and a cartwheel or two…. and that’s totally fine!
The program would not be possible without the assistance of the wonderful teachers from each school who volunteered their time to help out for the season. We hope they are enjoying the hour on the field with their kids each week as much as we are!
Once play is done the kids head to their after school programs, catch the bus or walk home with parents. Through our ACPS partnership, a later bus leaves at 4pm after the league ends in the afternoon.
The first two weeks of this new program have been a huge success and we’re looking forward to the next four. We’re tweaking things as we go and constantly collecting feedback to develop a sustainable model that we would love to implement at other schools in the future.
If you’re available from 2:30–4pm on T, W, or F and would like to volunteer with us this Fall please email [email protected]