The American Heart Association (AHA) has partnered with Playworks to provide free developmental sports league opportunities to nearly 1,200 4th and 5th grade Boston Public School students.
Playworks developmental sports leagues offer a unique opportunity for low-income elementary children in that they teach specific sports skills, provide a safe out-of-school environment, encourage physical, cognitive, and social development, teach healthy social skills, bolster confidence, encourage discipline and positive sporting behavior and promote a love of physical activity.
Through their partnership, Playworks and AHA raise students’ awareness of heart health and increase the importance of physical activity. Prior to each volleyball game students participate in Check Your Heart with AHA, during which they are taught how to correctly check and monitor their pulse. That base pulse is recorded followed by a second pulse check after the game. Students then discuss how they were able to increase their heart rate through physical activity and recognize the connection between physical activity, heart health and overall health, all while experiencing a team bond in a safe, healthy and inclusive environment.
“AHA is making it possible for 1,200 Boston students to experience their first sports team,” notes Playworks Executive Director, Max Fripp. “Through our partnership students receive an additional two hours of physical activity per week and learn the connection between a healthy lifestyle and healthy hearts. Thank you AHA for joining us in creating healthy kids, healthy hearts and healthy communities.”
The spring co-ed volleyball league kicked off this past Saturday, March 2nd, with an extravaganza that joined 200 students from across the city – as well as their parents and siblings – together to engage in a day of developmental skill building. Volleyball games will be held on weeknights throughout the spring in the gyms of Edison K-8 in Brighton, McKay K-8 in East Boston, and Marshall Elementary in Dorchester.