Home » 6th grade physical education students pilot Grassroot Soccer program

6th grade physical education students pilot Grassroot Soccer program

For the past several weeks, 6th grade physical education (PE) students have been participating in a pilot of the Grassroot Soccer program under the direction of PE teachers Adam Burr and Jacob Rapp.

Grassroot Soccer is a global adolescent health organization that teaches lifelong skills through sport-based lessons, including soccer. In their 20+ year history, they have reached more than 25 million adolescents with their research-validated approach.

The organization is piloting a program for PE classes. The pilot program contains 14 lessons that span four units, blending mental health skills with PE themes. CCS is one of a small number of schools participating in the pilot. As a result, Burr and Rapp are able to provide valuable feedback and insight on what lessons are effective with their students.

“I think this was a great opportunity to present, in a much more focused and direct way, ideas that are already present in our curriculum,” said Adam Burr, PE teacher. “Concentrating on concepts such as considering perspective, emotional regulation and effective communication in a physical activity setting makes a lot of sense. All students need those qualities to be successful, not only on an athletics team, but also as members of the school community. It was awesome to collaborate with Mr. Rapp to think of modifications and really try to maximize the effectiveness of the program.”

Grassroot Soccer is using the feedback from PE teachers like Burr and Rapp to modify and expand the program. The goal is to develop a full year curriculum for students in grades 6, 7 and 8 with 26-28 lessons. The program is being designed to seamlessly integrate into the scheduled timeframe that each school district has built in for PE classes. The program also aligns with the national PE standards for each grade level and the social emotional learning (SEL) standards.

PEAR (Partnerships in Education and Resilience) is Grassroot Soccer’s advisory partner in aligning the program to industry-leading social and emotional development standards as captured in their Clover Model. The Clover Model highlights four essential elements that people of all ages need in order to thrive, learn and develop: Active Engagement, Assertiveness, Belonging and Reflection. CCS is working to implement PEAR and the Clover Model for all students for the 2024-25 school year.

“We are pleased to partner with Cambridge to pilot a ‘healthy body and mind’ PE-based mental health curriculum,” said Timothy Diehl, a consultant for Grassroot Soccer. “Grassroot Soccer is working with leading experts in physical education and social and emotional learning to develop the program. Experienced PE teachers like Adam Burr and Jacob Rapp are providing valuable advice on how the program meets the social and emotional development needs of their 6th grade students.”

CCS plans to continue embedding these lessons in PE classes throughout the 2024-25 school year.

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