How many of your students get to meet a Paralympic or Olympian? they’re not just hanging around the mall these days, are they?
Coincidentally enough on today’s jog (and by jog, I totally mean walk) I listened to my second Edu All-Stars podcast with Todd Nesloney, Stacey Huffine, and Chris Kesler and heard about this program called Classroom Champions.
Targeting grades Kindergarten through 8, Classroom Champions brings Olympians, Paralympians and Olympic/Paralympic games hopefuls (Athlete Mentors) into the classroom using videos and live chats.
A kind of 21st century pen-pal, each athlete mentor adopts 1-4 classrooms per year. Focusing on their own personal journey, athletes teach about the hard work of training, goal setting, competition and perseverance. Using video lessons and live video chats, students are engaged with their athlete mentor several times per month. Our program supports teachers by helping them incorporate these activities into their curricula, focusing on letter writing, reading, geography, math, technology, goal setting and leadership.
Listening to to Steve Mesler, Founder and 3-time Olympian, who was their the guest star on the podcast, I got SO excited about what opportunities this could provide to a classroom full of students who want to grow up and be athletes. Every year we have some sort of college & career readiness focus and encourage classrooms to Skype with college students. I usually drag my brother, Randy, into it because of his collegiate sports experience. He was also drafted by the Yankees, so students usually think that is pretty cool, 🙂 (Not me, I’m a Rangers girl, ;))
I also plan on figuring out a way next year to get my cousin to do this…you may have heard of him? El Oso Blanco! AKA Evan Gattis who is playing for the Atlanta Braves right now, 🙂 We’ll see how far that cousin connection can get me…I know I have some old photos around here somewhere…
Regardless, I definitely plan on involving classrooms next year with Classroom Champions. One of the goals Steve mentioned was showing kids that being a successful athlete takes more than just a couple of weeks of hard work. There’s exhaustion, failure, and commitment required. That’s not what they see when they watch Kobe…and I think this program is amazing because of it! He also spoke about how eye opening it was for a kindergarten class to see a Paralympic and think that their disability was what MADE them successful, vs being successful in spite of it. How inspirational!
Thank you, Tech Ninja Todd and team for introducing me on my jog (cough, cough) to another great resource for our students!