Friday Two Cents: One Hour Of Play At A Time


 

twoCentsOldNew

Seven years ago I started a softball and T-ball leagues at the school I work in, with the afterschool students. It started as a way for me to continue my love of baseball with the hopes of passing my love for the game to the students. As well, not to sound sexist but, many of the female students had no idea how the game was played. I wanted them to have the same opportunity to understand and appreciate the game. Finally, I also noticed a lack of extra-curriculum activities for students in the younger or primary grades (kindergarten to grade 2). This is why I wanted to do a T-ball league for them. Therefore, with help from the other staff I was able to start the leagues and amazingly we are starting our seventh year.

This year the director came to me and said that because of new ministry regulations we need to give the students the option of joining the softball and T-ball leagues. At first I was not sure about this, I thought that many of the students would not want to participate in the programs. I originally started the program to bring baseball to the students who would not normally join a program and hopefully they can learn something new.   But then I thought that in the end it would be a good thing because most the students know the game and only the ones that truly wanted to participate would join.
I talked to my director and we both agreed that about 36 – 40 students in the junior grades (grades 3 – 5) would participate in the softball program and about 55 – 60 students in the primary grades (kindergarten to grade 2) for the T-ball program. The response I received for the softball was about right and better with 45 joining the softball program, but I was beyond surprised with the response from the primary grades.

T-Ball Fun

By the final date to respond, I had a final total of 81 students wanting to participate in the T-ball league. Our estimate was 55 – 60; we received an extra 26 students wanting to participate. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I did not think that these students or parents wanted to join.
Staff members told me that this is a great thing; it shows that I run a good program for the students and they want to join. Yet logistically is seems like a nightmare but I have to admit that my colleagues are right. I do feel good with this overwhelming response.
In many ways it justifies my reasoning in starting this program. But it also shows me that there is a true lack of extracurricular activities for primary students. In every school I have worked in, there are extracurricular activities for the junior and intermediate (grades 6 – 8) grades. Many range from different sports to academic clubs (math and chess clubs), but nothing for the primary grades, especially kindergarten. I understand that the older grades are more active and require extra stimulation, yet the younger students need some ‘fun’ too. I think people need to keep this famous quote from Plato in mind when it comes to truly getting to know someone.

 

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato

Having fun playing baseball

You would be amazed by what these little people are like. I know they always amaze me. Now I can get to now over a 120 of them; One hour of play at a time.

 

Getting to know the students one hour of play at a time.

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