This educational program was developed by the Sioux Falls Storm with the assistance and sponsor sup- port from area businesses. This program is designed to aid all classifications of the student age groups (K-12) and can be offered as a tool for teachers to help kids maintain a positive image of school. For those students at the middle and upper age classroom levels, this program can help kids begin to strive and plan ahead towards completion of high school (including rewards for students that find school challenging). This program seeks to offer students opportunities to have positive school-related experiences that does not necessarily depend on academic performance. The Champions Stay In The Game initiative has five integrated components that starts with students working together as a team, on individual well-being development and community service. They include:
Read to Succeed (Grades K-8)
This program helps to develop the child's vocabulary and leisure reading skills. The Storm will make available Team Players and Lightning Girls Cheer Team members. Once activated, incentive prizes can be awarded from the Storm and business sponsors based on the level of books read, etc.
School is Cool (Grades 2-5)
This program helps to encourage kids in elementary school to maintain a positive attitude toward school and to work towards being a good teammate to one another both in the class & lunch rooms as well as on the school playground. With the support of the Storm Players and Coaches, this program can serve as a team building activity where teachers assign the students into groups to develop a project based on the theme "My School is Cool because _______" in addition to "I Am a Good Teammate because _______". The emphasis on this program is to start showing the students at an early age that "teamwork" is essential to stay in the game and that working together gives everyone a sense of belonging vs. feeling isolated and alone.
Future Stars (Grades 5-8)
This program helps students to reaffirm their commitment to school and become more involved in school activities such as music, art, theatre, and other club programs. This category will continue team building activity as well where teachers will assign students into groups to plan out a community project or internal fundraiser with special rewards for the top producers.
Huddle Up (Grades 9-12)
The aim of this program is to bring some of our players to schools to work with a select group of students and help motivate them to the finish line and beyond. The Storm would also like to help instill the importance of the students to begin to involve themselves in community service specifically working as a team to develop a project for their school, charitable organization and or cause (working through the Storm Football Club on the latter two). By participating in a community oriented program, the goal is to give the students a greater sense of place within their community and a feeling of personal accomplishment other than by achieving academic success.
Second Down (Grades 9-12)
In football, there are three tries to make a first down in order to keep the offensive team moving down the field with a chance to score a touchdown. The Storm would like to provide HOPE to a select group of students that they can come back for the Second Down in the game of life even if they've failed at their first attempt. In sports we award athletes the "Most Improved Player" - this would be a chance for a student that has struggled in school to have a chance to compete for a scholarship not so much based on their grade level as the top criteria but it would be based on the student's overall effort in school, attitude towards class, attendance combined with extra curricular school activities and volunteer service.