Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

LBAA begins Fall Season and kicks off academy!

Posted by sebastianbrown on September 27, 2011

When LBAA was originally founded over 5 years ago, the focus was on making recreational opportunities more available to the low-income youth of Long Branch mostly by finding outside volunteer coaches to organize teams (including driving players to games) and paying for team registration fees. Overtime it had become more and more clear that the parents themselves were eager to play a central role in running their child’s teams. Of course there are real barriers preventing many of the parents from regularly attending practices and games–transportation, changing job schedules, multiple kids to watch after. So this past summer we started holding bi-weekly academy nights where all kids practiced together to give families a chance to get to better know each other and find ways to provide support to one another in finding creative ways to overcoming all the real life obstacles that come up during the season.

So, after a summer in which a group of nearly 20 parents–alongside the leadership of Armando–ran Tuesday and Thursday soccer practices for about 40 Broad Acres 3rd-5th grade boys and girls, we have 8 parent-coached and coordinated teams in 6 divisions k-5 in the Takoma Park Soccer League. In addition to playing weekend games, each team is practicing on its own once a week as well as coming together on Thursdays for weekly academy nights where parent coordinators and coaches can check in with one another and provide support. Already several parents are taking the lead on putting together some kind of math/reading support club for the players. Others are talking about raising money to buy water bottles for all the kids so to cut down on the amount of wasteful plastic water bottles left behind at the fields. Keep checking in to see what progress these amazing parents make in their effort to be more active in enriching their children’s lives as much as possible.

Mairelin Serpas, the coordinator of coordinators, organizes fellow parents at beginning of the first official Fall Academy Night

Briseyda, mom and 2nd grade girls coach, organizes team equipment at end of Academy night

3rd grade boys pack up after a long night of practice

Armando does his best to get his 2nd grade boys sufficiently crazy for the 'crazy pic'!

We all have our own unique ways of celebrating, right?

Carlos and Javier wouldn't let me leave until I entered "their team 7-11"

I think they're not trying to get their picture taken

Here come the Kindergarteners!

Coaches of 3rd grade boys Carlos and Rogelio re-group during halftime

13 Responses to “LBAA begins Fall Season and kicks off academy!”

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