ACES is an out-of-school-time program that focuses on using sports as a hook to get kids excited about math and social-emotional learning. We provide intentional, project-based curriculum for low-income students in grades 4-8 in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Although it was a cold, drizzly day, ACES had a blast at this year’s Washburn Games! The Washburn Games is an annual event where students get to participate in drills and mini skills clinics for a variety of sports. Hosted at Bryn Mawr Meadows, kids practice dribbling a soccer ball, passing a hockey puck, setting a volleyball, punting a football, and more. We were also excited to see one of our own board members volunteering as a pitching instructor at one of the baseball stations!
Dale Peterson, who has been ACES Board President for the last decade, has made a significant impact on ACES. As Dale retires from his position as president of the board, we wanted to sit down with him to reflect on his time with ACES.
In late September, our East Side Boys & Girls Club and Global Arts Plus students had an opportunity to attend Soccer Night Out at the National Sports Center in Blaine! The event was part of a Soccer Nights series of celebrations where local youth participate in a skills clinic led by MNUFC Academy staff, play pickup games with other area youth, and meet United players.
ACES Executive Director Christina Saunders has been invited to speak on Neuger Communications’ Education Panel at their next Common Good breakfast event!
Near the end of July, Sanaa, Zorion, Jeremiah and Devon, four of our students from our East Side Boys & Girls Club, had the opportunity to attend Tennis & Life Camp at Gustavus Adolphus University in St. Peter, MN! Our ACES students have been fortunate to be a part of this program the last few summers; they get to take part in sports-related learning, where the social-emotional teachings align with our own mission.
Our Site Coordinators are instrumental in ensuring our ACES programming runs smoothly and our youth are receiving intentional and relevant learning objectives. They’re the face of their site for administrators, students, and families, but they do so much more - they review daily lesson plans, provide observations and valuable feedback for our Academic Coaches, and coordinate and chaperon field trips. Their communication and implementation are instrumental in our success, so we wanted to feature them through periodic spotlight articles! First up: Site Coordinator Sara Schmidt!
Now that school is starting, we are excited to get back to our academic year programming and see our ACES Faces again! There will be many new faces this year as we welcome Harold Mezile North Community YMCA to our academic year site locations.
One of the great things about being an Academic Coach is that, although there is a lot of routine and ritual involved in classroom activity, no two days ever look the same. Some days are more focused on individual work and planning, some days are all about teamwork and experiments, and others are filled with creative thinking, large projects, or group games!
Alonzo, one of our ACES students from the East Side Boys & Girls Club, is just completing his first month of Never Too Late hockey camp! Minnesota Hockey partnered with the Minnesota Wild and the Minnesota Wild Foundation to develop Never Too Late, a low-cost Learn to Play Camp designed for youth aged 9-12 who have never played organized hockey.
It’s been an exciting summer for us as we added a new site to our summer programming! In addition to continuing our summer curriculum with Eastside Boys & Girls Club in Saint Paul and Jerry Gamble Boys & Girls Club in Minneapolis, we’ve expanded to add programming at Harold Mezile YMCA in Minneapolis! We’re committed to building on our previous success and growing our reach through the Twin cities Communities. This new partnership allows us to make a bigger impact in Minneapolis and Saint Paul by getting more students involved and engaged in math and social-emotional learning.