My classroom is a very busy library. Two years ago, a number of students came in looking for soccer books. They wanted any type of book related to soccer. Their teachers told me how they would turn every assignment into an assignment related to soccer. How many poems can you write about soccer? A lot!
Their passion for soccer inspired me and others in my school district to help our students be part of a true soccer team.
We have challenges at our school that a lot of other schools don’t have. Parent involvement is sparse. Resources are scarce. Stories of hardships abound. There are 22 different languages spoken at our school. Despite the challenges, and maybe even because of these challenges, our staff is one of the most caring and generous around. Teachers and administration come out on Saturdays to help cheer on our soccer teams and support our players.
Our staff is extraordinarily committed to doing what is best for kids. When we watched these kids, beaming with pride, step out onto the field in their new uniforms, for their first "ref" game ever, we knew this was something worthwhile and good for kids.
My school has a high population of refugee students. Many of these refugee students love soccer. They have grown up playing soccer in refugee camps. It’s the sport they know and love. If you come to our school during lunch you will see a huge group of kids playing soccer, using makeshift goals, and chasing the balls into the parking lot after each goal shot. Two years ago we started an extracurricular soccer program for refugees in our district. The program has provided an avenue for many kids to play on a real team for the first time in their lives. An important piece of equipment for a soccer team is soccer goals. We need goals that are somewhat stationary, but still movable so that we can work around the other sports using the field at our school. A number of other schools in our district own these same soccer goals. Unlike those schools, however, our school doesn't have the socioeconomic situation that allows us to ask very many of our parents to donate money to purchase this kind of equipment. With the help of caring individuals willing to donate, we can make one small step toward equity in our community. If my school had these soccer goals, not only would all our students be able to use them during lunch but our refugee after-school, extracurricular soccer teams would also be able to use them for practices and scrimmages. Your generosity will spread beauty in our world and bring the beautiful game to more kids.
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