The 2013 Work to Play fall season saw a record number of boys and girls sharply dressed in their brand new Nike jerseys, shorts, socks and shin guards kick the soccer ball all around Chicago. 821 soccer players from our 26 partner schools wrapped up our strongest ever Work to Play season this past week.
Some Urban Initiatives soccer players set the tone for their school day by waking up extra early for their morning practices. They began their day with some fun games as they worked on their soccer skills. From learning how to dribble the ball with their sweet spots to perfecting the tougher “Messi” move, the 60 minutes of physical activity in the morning really helped our kids prepare for their day of learning. One of our coaches who leads early morning practices at Prieto Elementary said his seasonal highlight was “seeing kids excited about exercising and being part of team three times a week.” Even early in the morning kids can get excited about exercising!
At our partner schools with afternoon Work to Play sessions, boys and girls used their practices as a way to be extra studious during the day so they could really enjoy their practice. At the end of each practice soccer players enjoyed a very nutritious Quaker Chewy granola bar and refreshing apple. This fall season over 39,000 apples and Chewy bars gave our soccer players some healthy energy after their 15 minute Health and Character discussion.
At the beginning of the fall season, Tanesha from Jenner Elementary told her coach that she didn’t think she could ever play soccer, but by the end of the season, she couldn’t wait to play the Numbers game, our most challenging soccer game, at each practice. The amazing learning and improvement that Tanesha accomplished this season is just one example among hundreds of how Urban Initiatives students demonstrated huge amounts of commitment to meet their goals.