The Power of Teamwork to Let Kids Play

By Rodrigo Rabanal

Sports Based Youth Development (SBYD) is imperative for our country’s growing children. And what better way to than to combine forces with similar SBYD organizations that share our mission?

Having secured funding from the Heisman Trophy Fund, collaborative entity Vita Sports Partners will create an initiative that will bring together six SBYD organizations (Wellness in the Schools, Play Rugby USA, Beat the Streets, Row New York, America Scores, and Stoked) that specialize in various physical activities and sports. Ranging from wrestling, rugby, and soccer, to skateboarding and fitness challenges, the project will consist of in-school and after-school programming for PS 208 and PS 76 in Harlem, New York.

Jesse Dilevo, whose organization Play Rugby USA is spearheading the collaborative, states, “Oftentimes schools have limited resources when it comes to what activities they can provide for their children both in physical education class, and in their after-school programs. By the end of the pilot, the students would have participated in various SBYD programs experiencing valuable character development opportunities.”

In addition to providing programming for the kids, the collaborative will also empower and increase the capacity of the PE teachers at PS 208 and PS 76, as it will provide various activities and resources to their teaching practices.

The organizations will contribute a total of 36 hours of PE instruction in a span of six weeks, along with 48 total hours of after-school programming in a span of 12 weeks.

Wellness in the Schools will be implementing its WITS Power Play curriculum from the Coach for Kids program. This will provide students the chance to engage in individual and group challenges by using skills integrated into obstacle courses, which will crucially develop social and physical development.

When asked how WITS will add value to the collaborative mission, Dilevo states, “The students are going to participate in activities that are going to help develop many important character traits that traditional activities and games may not incorporate.”

Here at Wellness in the Schools, we are ecstatic to provide this fitness education programming for PS 208 and PS 76 and can’t wait to help them let kids play.