Youth Development Programs
Springfield Leaders of Tomorrow
The Springfield Leaders of Tomorrow began in 2005 and has offered programming to over 500 youngsters between the ages of 12-18. Under the guidance of creator and director Ted France, Ed.D., associate professor of Physical Education at Springfield College, graduate and undergraduate counselors provide two weeks of leadership and problem solving training to the city youth during the summer. The first week is a day program which develops small affiliation groups through team building and trust exercises. In the second week, students stay in College residence halls, and their task is to develop solutions to community-based problems. The students present their solutions to an audience of family members and community leaders.
Play It Smart
In 1998, the National Football Foundation created Play It Smart, an educational program targeted at high school football players from economically disadvantaged environments where family and community support are often lacking. The program, designed to transform student-athletes’ passion for sport and intense dedication to their team into a force for greater good in their lives, is remarkably successful. Play It Smart participants graduate and go on to college at rates well above those of their peers, all at a cost of less than a dollar per day per student-athlete. For more information, please go to www.playitsmart.org.
Academics In Motion
Academics In Motion is a youth development program which was developed just three years ago. It provides an innovative turn-key program that uses sport participation to address poor academic performance in under-served high schools. Each school receives a Youth Development Coach (YDC) who acts as counselor, tutor, and advocate for the students. They provide the support the students need to improve in such areas as grade point average, academic eligibility, SAT/ACT participation, community engagement, and overall youth development. For more information, please go to www.academicsinmotion.org.