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Let's Play After-School Initiative

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The Maryland State Youth Soccer Association’s Let’s Play! program is an after-school initiative designed to transform the lives of participants by providing a safe, character building, community supported program that helps to teach social and emotional skills while fighting obesity and related illnesses. Let’s Play! is designed by a Doctor in Education and also by an industry expert with more than 25 years of experience designing and implementing programming for school age children.

Let’s Play! is designed to reduce negative behavior, improve mental health and well-being, and improve educational and academic achievement all while growing excitement around the beautiful game of soccer!

Details:

Let’s Play! is a low cost, safe, after-school program that uses soccer as a vehicle to directly, positively impact the lives of participants while indirectly, strengthening and positively impacting communities.

The program takes place at school one day per week for eight (8) weeks in the fall (Sept./Oct.) and again in the spring (April/May). Each session lasts 60-75 minutes, focusing on soccer training and incorporating nutrition and life skills training (SEL).

Each participant receives a free, branded soccer ball and t-shirt. Player gear (e.g., cleats, shin guards) can be provided free of charge by Leveling the Playing Field (where needed), and all coaches are trained with key Coaching for Character and Coaching with Empathy fundamentals by Coaching Corps. The coach to student ratio is no more than 1:15 in addition to high school mentors. 

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Sample Curriculum:

  • Week 1- Welcome to the Program (coming to play, showing up, being ready - FUNdamentals)
  • Week 5- Empathy (shooting and finishing)
  • Week 2- Persistence (Dribbling/Turning with the ball)
  • Week 6- Persistence (passing/teamwork)
  • Week 3- Optimism(1v1 skills)
  • Week 7- Optimism (shooting/finishing)
  •  Week 4- Self-Regulation (passing skills)
  • Week 8- Self-Regulation: End of Season Games (games and competition)

 

Support:

Please support Let's Play! by giving of your time, gently used equipment, money, or all of the above!

Time- Many opportunities exist for you to give of your time. If you are interested in volunteering at one or more of the Let's Play! program locations, or if you would like to champion a new location, then please send an email to Nathean Meadows at outreach@msysa.org.

Gently used equipment- MSYSA has partnered with Leveling the Playing Field (LPF) to provide cleats and shin guards to all of the participants in Let's Play! If you have any new or gently used soccer equipment that you would like to donate, then please check out the various donation locations on LPF's website.

Money- Financial support is greatly needed to continue offering this program to many amazing children. Please see the following Let's Play! supporter levels:

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All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible as MSYSA is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. 

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