Soccer goals help students reach language goals


    Some TCU students are practicing their Spanish in a unique after-school program that uses soccer to score academic success.

    The after school program, Kick for Success, at Sagamore Hill Elementary gives TCU students the opportunity to practice their own Spanish by helping ESL students to read, write and problem-solve in English and Spanish.
    “Students talk about how they learn topics they wouldn’t have learned in class, like creative and critical thinking,” said Elizabeth Calderon, a kindergarten teacher at Sagamore Hill.
    Calderon and fellow teacher Juan Hernandez facilitate the after school program of about 30 third and fourth grade students.
    “I like the logic puzzles,” said third grader Karina Cortina. All her classmates agreed and proudly emphasized that logic puzzles are a fifth grade objective.

    But when it comes to students’ favorite part of the program, logic puzzles fall second to soccer.
    “They are motivated by soccer to stay, because if your grades fall below a certain level you can’t [play] soccer anymore,” Calderon said.
    The emphasis soccer places on teamwork is becoming evident on the field and in the classroom, according to TCU senior Nate Anderson, a business major and Spanish minor.

    “If a student needs help, other students are there to encourage them and cheer them on,” Anderson said. “Through teamwork and confidence in one another, they are gaining confidence in themselves.”

    Sagamore Hill students aren’t the only ones who enjoy soccer after tutoring. TCU senior Katie Brown, a communication major and Spanish minor said that volunteering with the after school program is a fun use of her time.
    “I like coming and seeing all the kids and watching all the progress they’re making – and them teaching me how to play soccer,” Brown said.