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August 22, 2018
Schools in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties now have a new resource to help promote physical fitness and encourage reading thanks to a new partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation.
A year ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation set out to find a way to make a positive impact on students in Tampa Bay and a year’s worth of research led them to the largest program the Foundation has ever launched.
Today, in front of 100 students and faculty from schools in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, the Foundation’s president and owner, uvneiled the Jr. Bucs School Program.
The initiative will reach nearly 200,000 students at 300+ schools in our area.
“We learned most schools lack equipment and a structured curriculum for fitness testing, yet fitness testing is a requirement in all elementary schools. We also learned that studies show that physical education coupled with role models helps students stay on task in the classroom, improves grades and standardized test scores,” explained Glazer Kassewitz.
The Jr. Bucs School Program aims to meet all of these needs. Already, new fitness equipment is heading to P.E. instructors in every elementary and middle school in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. And more will keep on coming.
The Jr. Bucs School Program has three parts:
Elementary schools will benefit from the Jr. Bucs Fitness Challenge which will help keep kids on track to meet and exceed required fitness standards. The foundation is providing schools with custom fitness equipment that will be incorporated into PE and recess. They have also worked with both school districts to add a mid-year physical challenge to help students track their progress. Prizes will be awarded to kids who not only have the best scores, but also show the largest improvement.
The Bucs will also be creating a player video every month that will be played during each school’s morning show to teach kids a fitness drill players actually do in practice. The students can then try to practice the drill and work with their teachers on these new fitness skills.
Middle schools will be receiving new flag football equipment and curriculum as part of the Jr. Bucs Flag Football program. Buccaneer players and legends will be visiting all 90 middle schools on both sides of the bay during the schools’ three week long flag football unit.
Finally, all elementary and middle school students will benefit from the Jr. Bucs Reading Challenge which aims to encourage kids to read more often through the MyOn platform the school districts use to give students access to thousands of book titles. There will be monthly reading challenges with opportunities to win Bucs prizes and experiences.
“Our two school districts, our focus is our students,” said Hillsborough County Schools superintendent Jeff Eakins. “Everything that we can do, anything that our partners can do that align with our mission and we can work together on that to support the overall achievement and their success, that’s what great partnerships are all about. And that’s why we’re so very proud to be partners with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
Once the program was unveiled, students got to take to the field in the new indoor practice facility to experience some of what this new program will be offering in their schools.
They were led by Bucs players like Demar Dotson, Will Gholston, Chris Godwin, DaVonte Lambert, Jason Pierre-Paul and Keith Tandy.
It was an exciting day and one that will leave a lasting impact on students across Tampa Bay for years to come.
To learn more about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation, visit Buccaneers.com/community.
More photos from today’s event: