Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (SASF) has honed its flagship Champions Club after-school program model to meet students’ individualized needs – particularly those attending underperforming schools in New York City’s low-income neighborhoods. Champions Clubs enrich the lives of students by providing diverse, high-quality sports, arts, character development and academic assistance. In the 2009-10 school year, about 70 schools across the five boroughs and Westchester County are hosting SASF’s Champions Club after-school programs.
Each Champions Club is tailored to meet the varying needs of the host school. The clubs use a combination of the following elements to create a comprehensive after-school experience:
Skill-driven sports and fitness activities;
- Visual and performing arts instruction;
- Off-site field trips to cultural institutions, athletic events and college campuses;
- Character development workshops;
- Homework help
- Academic tutoring at designated Schools in Need of Improvement (SINI); and
- Performances and skills showcases that highlight student achievement before an audience of teachers, faculty, family and friends.
The Champions Club model succeeds by building a cohesive link between sports, arts and the participating students’ academic skill development wherever possible. Accordingly, Champions Clubs provide an academic period each day that is devoted to reading, math or homework assistance. The program model operates three to five days each week, up to 36 weeks during the academic year.