Beyond Soccer, together with other community nonprofit organizations/agencies, are playing a critical role in the Lawrence Public School District’s planned turnaround. We are strengthening classroom enrichment opportunities and adding 200-300 hours to students’ 2013/2014 school year. Click here for recent news article about LPS enrichment partnership.

Beyond Soccer’s Futsal and Wellness Initiative is an exciting pilot program designed to promote team work, to increase physical activity and to deliver sound nutritional education, encouraging Lawrence youth to adopt healthier lifestyles that become habits used “beyond” the classroom. This program blends together small sided futsal (soccer) games with nutrition and movement sessions (or Health Kicks!) that are both interactive and fun, and allow participants to use that energy to become more focused in school.

Beyond Soccer is currently working with 1st – 4th grade students at the Guilmette Elementary School every Friday afternoon from 12:30-3:00. Lindsey McArdle leads the wellness or Health Kicks! session in the Guilmette School gym, while Edgar Escalante simultaneously teaches students the fun, fast-paced game of futsal to 1st and 2nd graders. Kenny Finn of Boston Soccer Academy heads up the soccer component at the Boys & Girls Club for Guilmette 3rd and 4th graders. A total of 115 elementary school children are engaged every week in 9-week rotations.

Youtube Link to Friday Enrichment Video @ the Boys & Girls Club. See if you can spot our kids on the soccer field.

Wellness or Health Kicks! Programming: The wellness portion of the program introduces a nutrition theme each week that is then reinforced through hands on, interactive and age appropriate activities that get students moving. Each session begins with a brief topic introduction, followed by a cooperative game that allows participants to explore and interact in small group settings. The curriculum also includes friendly competitions (i.e. food group team relays, etc.) that encourage moderate-vigorous physical activity while continuing to strengthen participants’ understanding of the weekly topic (i.e. “balanced diet” and “healthy choices”). Each weekly theme builds upon the previous week, to ensure that students are retaining the information “beyond” the program and classroom setting.

Futsal: The futsal program teaches soccer play through drills and small sided games that promote physical activity, foot skill, spacial awareness and teamwork that is instructed by licensed soccer coaches. Health and wellness topics are also infused into the futsal/soccer play in an effort to reinforce the ingredients necessary to live healthy, happy and productive lives.