BENEFITING: BOSTON SCHOLAR ATHLETE PROGRAM INC
ORGANIZER: BOSTON SCHOLAR ATHLETE PROGRAM INC
EVENT: 2013 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 15, 2013
BOSTON SCHOLAR ATHLETE PROGRAM INC wrote -
The Boston Scholar Athletes program (BSA) is a 501 c (3), non-profit organization whose mission is to support academic achievement through athletics. BSA was launched in the summer of 2009 with the support of Mayor Menino, in response to a series of Boston Globe articles that identified deficiencies within the Boston Public School's athletic programming. With Suffolk Construction’s CEO John Fish as the founder, BSA is a multi-million dollar program designed to maintain and enhance academic and athletic programming for 19 Boston Public High School buildings, which includes several ‘complex’ schools. The program's mission is based on the proven link between athletic participation and positive academic performance. BSA provides a necessary connection between the public and private sectors of the Boston community, linking the athletic capital from professional sports teams, the academic capital from colleges and universities, and financial support for local businesses, directly to the scholar-athletes of Boston. BSA is committed to increasing the opportunities to succeed for Boston Public School scholar-athletes.
Due to our unprecedented relationships and partnerships, we have experienced tremendous growth and impact in a short time. In the spring of 2009, we launched 3 “Zones” in 3 Boston Public High Schools. Zones are school-based learning centers designed and resourced to support and encourage academic excellence. The success of these initial learning centers sparked the need for others. With that in mind, BSA worked with the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools and individual Headmasters to secure one Zone in 19 Boston Public High Schools. The Zones are staffed, managed, and funded by Boston Scholar Athletes, and are available for use during the day and after-school, by all potential and current scholar-athletes in grades 9-12. Zones are dedicated spaces that foster and facilitate learning and education. They offer students a quiet, safe place to study, idea share, and connect with their teammates, peers, coaches, teachers, and other internal & external organizations.
Since the establishment of the Zones, we have demonstrated noted improvement in student academic performance and eligibility rates. We measure our success on a daily basis by tracking our membership and Zone usage against scholar-athlete eligibility, grade point averages, progress reports, and student satisfaction surveys. Due to our relationship with the Boston Public School system & personnel, we are able to closely monitor the grades of the 3,000+ scholar-athletes currently enrolled in our 19 Zones. This enables our Zone staff to track scholar-athletes’ grades, test scores and GPA’s. This is vital to our success as it allows for day-to-day monitoring of academic performance, so that scholar-athletes, tutors, teachers and Facilitators can work to maintain and increase eligibility.
Zones are further resourced with school supplies, text books, and various technology including laptops, graphing calculators, e-readers, and flash drives to ensure our scholar-athletes have access to the most efficient and helpful learning tools. Managing the Zones are BSA Facilitators; a diverse group of 20+ staff who work within each school’s Zone on a day-to-day basis. They are responsible for encouraging and increasing year-round participation in the Zones, tracking members’ GPA’s and eligibility, and maintaining a positive, enticing, and thriving work environment. They also are required to connect and build relationships with internal and external individuals and organizations to ensure maximum resource support for the scholar-athletes. One of the greatest benefits available to our scholar-athletes is the local volunteer tutors that are recruited and scheduled to work with our members on a weekly basis. Yet another academic offering is the College Readiness Initiative (CRI); an SAT preparation course that is taught during the day, throughout the school year, to hundreds of our Zone members. The goal of the CRI is to improve the SAT scores of Boston Public High School students to increase their opportunities for higher education.
On the field, we strive to improve the scholar-athlete experience through the provision of essential resources, such as uniforms and equipment, recognition opportunities such as All-Star games, and athletic education, including skills training and conditioning sessions. BSA provides regular instruction and support to the coaching staff to ensure they are properly trained both in their sport and more importantly in the philosophy that a coach is a mentor. Thinking back to the proven link between athletic participation and positive academic performance, the focus of our athletic initiatives are aimed at increasing the overall participation in athletics in Boston Public High Schools.
We believe that the collaborative efforts between our academic and athletic programming shapes character, develops confidence, and enhances opportunities for success for our students and community.