Kansas City Kansas Community College is taking soccer to elementary schools in the Kansas City Kansas School District.
An after school program called "School is a Kick," the program kicked off Tuesday in two elementary schools in the Argentine area – Noble Prentis at 2337 S. 14th Street and Silver City Elementary at 2515 Lawrence Avenue.
"We had 23 students sign up at Silver City and 36 at Noble Prentis on just the first day so we expect that number will increase," said KCKCC head soccer coach Ruben Rodriguez, who is directing the program in conjunction with the Metro United Soccer Club (MUSC). "This is a pilot program that if successful we hope every elementary school in KCK will adopt."
Open to students in third grade and above, Rodriguez and two members of the KCKCC soccer team will be conducting after school programs at both schools each Tuesday and Friday through Sept. 26.
"Our goal is to provide a fun experience for kids so they can learn the game and develop a passion for soccer and athletics for many years to come," said Rodriguez. "Youth sports play an important role in a child's life. Their participation in youth sports develop both physical and social skills including self-confidence, discipline, focus, friendship and motivation – lessons essential in the life of young people in their developmental ages."
Each 30-minute after school programs will focus on an array of soccer skills such as passing, finishing, receiving and more along with a value lesson to match the exercise in such areas as fitness, setting goals, community service, nutrition and the importance of learning.
Rodriguez said he first introduced to the program to Ann Brandau-Murgita, the District 3 Commissioner for the Unified Government of KCK and Wyandotte County, who in turn recommended it to the school principals, Sharon Potts at Noble Prentis and Deanne Letoureau at Silver City. "Both principals were very excited and enthused about the program and quick to adopt it," said Rodriguez.
Any other elementary school in the KCK School District interested in adding the program is urged to contact Ruben Rodriguez at KCKCC at 913-288-7255 or on-line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members of the 2016 men's soccer team at Kansas City Kansas Community College will be working with students at Silver City and Noble Prentis elementary schools as part of a pilot after school "Soccer is a Kick" program with schools in the KCK School District. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)