Soccer: a New Way to Learn at Washington School for Girls

Sr. Mary Bourdon, RJM – Head of School, Washington School for Girls

Washington School for Girls is a co-sponsored ministry of the Society of Holy Child Jesus.

Last school year, the Washington School for Girls (WSG) started a soccer program at The VIEW Campus (3rd  to 5th Grades) thanks to a partnership with US Soccer Foundation and DC Scores. This is the first athletic program that WSG has offered to its students at The VIEW and both students and families were excited about this addition: 25 out of 60 students signed up to be on the team last spring!

dc-scores-team-2016

Because The VIEW Campus has an open field space adjacent to campus, WSG was able to host several games against other schools who participate in the DC Scores program, most of whom were local neighborhood schools. The team is coached by Ms. Dominguez, 3rd Grade teacher, and Ms. Heard, 4th Grade teacher, with support and training from the DC Scores staff, who assist in developing coaching skills for our teachers.

This fall, the team is back in action for their second year with 28 members. They practice three days a week and have three games scheduled so far. Because most of the students have not played prior to joining the WSG team, the program focuses on building fundamentals, love of the game, and sportsmanship. In addition, the DC Scores program incorporates character-building and literacy development through off-the-field activities including service-learning and poetry performance events. Because the coaches are also teachers at WSG, the student-athletes connect their soccer experience to their academic lives.

The program also has fostered increased engagement from families who come out to help with practice and watch games, and this increased commitment carries over to academic support of their daughters.