May 22, 2009
Non-Profit Organization Teaches Life Skills to Children Through Soccer Nation-Wide
Soccer Kids of America, a Raleigh based non-profit organization that teaches life skills to underprivileged children, is set to launch the program nation-wide after finishing a successful first season.
Raleigh, North Carolina, May 20, 2009 -- Erin Johnson, Founder and President of Soccer Kids of America, plans to take her character development program nation-wide after a successful first session.
At Brentwood Elementary school, underprivileged youth learned life skills, including respect, integrity, teamwork, perseverance, diversity, and sportsmanship, all through the medium of soccer. The program consisted of one-hour sessions during after-school hours once a week for seven weeks.
Throughout the sessions, Johnson along with her volunteer coaches demonstrated how soccer serves as a metaphor for the game of life. For example, the children learned the concept of “teamwork” by practicing soccer drills that emphasized the importance of passing the ball during a game.
Building on the soccer drills, the coaches expanded on each concept and gave examples of how they could be applied to real life situations. “We teach them things like how they can use teamwork when getting chores done around the house with their brothers and sisters, or how an example of integrity is getting their homework in on time,” explained Johnson.
Johnson said one reason for the success of the first session was helpful input from her volunteer coaches, Mark Schulte and Joseph Kabwe. Taking time away from playing for the Carolina RailHawks professional soccer team, Schulte and Cobway volunteered their expertise to Soccer Kids of America.
“I think it’s a great program and I’ve enjoyed working with Erin,” said Schulte. “I’m looking forward to helping the program impact as many young lives as possible.”
As Johnson looks to launch Soccer Kids of America nation-wide, she is searching for more coaches, schools, and corporate sponsors that believe in using sports as a character development tool.
“All children of this nation should have the opportunity to learn to play soccer. With the current economy and reductions in public school budgets, this program is more important than ever to supplement after-school programs and teach valuable life skills in a fun environment,” said Johnson.
The Soccer Kids of America pilot program is sponsored by Soccer.com, Hosted Solutions, Carolina Railhawks, and Preation. Please visit www.soccerkidsofamerica.org for more information about the program and volunteering.
About Soccer Kids of America:
Soccer Kids of America is a character development program for underprivileged children in the fourth and fifth grades. The charity teaches life skills through the game of soccer at elementary schools in urban and rural areas throughout the U.S.
Erin Johnson, President and Founder