Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

No diablo, but the show goes on

Posted by sebastianbrown on March 16, 2010

Despite the rain, this past Sunday nearly 40 Northwest Park and Hampshire West parents and dozens of their children showed up to the Broad Acres Elementary School Cafeteria to meet each other, play some soccer and….meet the famous Bolivian soccer player Marco Etcheverry. Unfortunately, Marco–known as El Diablo from his days on DC United–never showed up. But even without him, we had a chance to chat with the parents for a half hour about the campaign, as well as learn a little bit about each of them–specifically how they’re involved in the school. Many of them talked about being a part of the newly forming PTA, currently called PIC (Parents Involvement Committee). As a side note, Broad Acres is the only elementary school in the county to not have a standing PTA so this is a pretty big development.

Several parents asked the general group about any ideas for after-school activities for kids in the neighborhood. One mother even came up to Megan and I afterward and asked about any available counseling services for her overly aggressive son. We pointed her toward Andrea, the head of Linkages for Learning, the mental health program associated with schools around the county including Broad Acres.

While we were inside talking about the campaign and available county and community resources, the kids were outside in the parking lot playing soccer drills led by Jorge and Dave, heads of the Long Branch Athletic Association, our partner in putting on the event. In addition to funding dozens of local rec sports teams of low-income children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the equipment and registration fees of the different leagues, they host a daily after school program where kids study for an hour and then let loose on the soccer field for an hour. Thanks to Dave and Jorge and their outreach efforts, we had a great turnout and now have lots of great new community members interested in getting more involved.

And as far as Marco goes, we plan on making him feel super guilty and forcing him to attend the school’s upcoming international night….in addition to signing the jersey and soccer balls that we raffled off at the end of the day. One way or another, we’ll get the Diablo.

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