For the fifth season in a row, Teammates For Kids presented a grant to the Chicago Fire Foundation P.L.A.Y.S. Program on behalf of the Chicago Fire players who partnered with Teammates throughout the year.
The Chicago Fire Foundation P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth Soccer) Program is committed to enhancing the academic performance and development of key social and emotional skills of elementary school students through a sports-based curriculum. Created in partnership with World Sport Chicago, it teaches not only soccer skills, but also character traits and values such as emotional control, goal setting and attainment, cooperation, respect, communication, and teamwork that are tied to academic success. As students learn these values within the structure of an athletic activity, they apply them in the classroom and improve both their behavior as well as their academic outcomes. Research has shown that more than 86.5% of P.L.A.Y.S. participants reported that they learned how to be better students because of this program, and more than 85% reported that they make more healthy choices. Click here to check out a video that highlights the program.
P.L.A.Y.S. has drawn high marks from community leaders, including Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, who said, "By teaching our children the skills of teamwork, focus, discipline, and overcoming adversity – you are teaching them the skills they need for success in life."
P.L.A.Y.S, which began in 2013, has seen more than 140,000 hours of soccer played by more than 500 youth in grades 3-5 in 22 Chicago Public Schools throughout Chicagoland.