Armstrong Elementary After-school Soccer Program keeps girls active and social
A new soccer program offered this spring at Armstrong Elementary School is giving young girls the opportunity to get active, while building self-esteem and friendships. Thirty (30) fifth-grade girls take part in the program, meeting once a week after school to play soccer and have fun socializing with each other.
Data Specialist Callie Day and Paraprofessional Elsa Villarreal thought of the idea after realizing that the girls needed an after-school outlet that would allow them to be active and build friendships. With the support of their Armstrong Principal Lori Craig and Student Wellness Coordinator Stephanie Kellam, the idea became a reality.
Kellam secured donations of soccer equipment (including soccer balls, goals, cones, bags and water bottles) from UnitedHealthcare, who now serves as the program sponsor. A team manager was selected and second-grade teacher, Vanessa Villalobos, also joined forces with Day and Villarreal in creating positive experiences for the girls.
“It’s great to know that we’re making a difference in the girls’ lives,” said Day. “As they transition into middle school, they will have the confidence and the desire to maintain healthy lifestyle habits that they are learning through this program. And the fun they’re having at soccer is just the icing on the cake.”
Given the success of the program, Day and Villarreal are planning to include other grade levels next school year.
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