February 6, 2012 — UCSF SportSmarts Press Release
Media Contact: Emily Queliza
Tel (415) 830-0292
Fax (415) 252-9010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTN: San Francisco Education, Sports / Wellness Editors & Reporters
San Francisco, CA – February 6, 2012
UCSF Pediatrics Targets Conflict Resolution from the Classroom to the Soccer Field
America SCORES Bay Area changing the game for SFUSD elementary students
Violence in urban communities is one of many serious challenges facing youth of low-income backgrounds. Through early March, the UCSF Department of Pediatrics will be confronting key issues of conflict resolution among SFUSD elementary students with local program provider America SCORES Bay Area. The new innovative curriculum, SportSmarts, combines soccer, music, and role-play to teach students how to manage conflict and anger while also teaching them how to handle problems with anti-aggressive behavior.
SportSmarts is based on the BrainPower program developed by psychologist Cynthia Hudley, PhD. The goal of the curriculum is to reduce children’s inclination to see their peers as hostile by teaching them to consider the intentions of their peers before reacting aggressively.
“SportSmarts is a wonderful partnership between America SCORES Bay Area and UCSF,” said Amy Williams, MD, and Primary Care Resident UCSF Department of Pediatrics. “The program uses an engaging, evidence-based curriculum to promote positive responses to conflict and decrease aggressive behavior in at-risk youth.”
This unique curriculum draws on students’ experiences with aggression and anger on the soccer field to help at-risk youth manage situations of conflict in their schools and larger communities. Students will discover that athletic skills and strong bodies can help them not only become good soccer players, but also can help them with the ability to stay calm and respond positively in the face of adversity, which helps define great players.
On Saturday, March 3rd at Crocker Amazon Football Field from 10am-1pm, the program will culminate in a “Ref-Free Jamboree,” where students will demonstrate the skills they’ve learned by resolving conflicts on the soccer field without the help of a referee. The “Ref-Free Jamboree” will also feature performances of original scenarios from each school.
The SportSmarts program is being implemented in the Mission and Western Addition neighborhoods of San Francisco at six elementary schools: Bryant, Cleveland, ER Taylor, Marshall, John Muir, and Junipero Serra. Each school participates in the America SCORES Bay Area program and league. This project represents phase two of the pilot program funded by the UCSF Community Partnerships Program and the Giants Community Fund.
America SCORES Partners & Supporters
University of California San Francisco Pediatrics Department, San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) ExCEL After- School Programs, Bay Area Community Resources, the San Francisco Department of Children Youth and their Families (DCYF), San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, and Coach Across America. Primary corporate sponsors include adidas, Starbucks, and the SAK Brand Group.
About America SCORES Bay Area
America SCORES Bay Area inspires urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence & character to make a difference in the world. America SCORES provides children with experiences to develop their own voice through poetry and creative expression, promotes physical activity through soccer, and supports leadership development through team-based service-learning projects. The Bay Area is one of the largest affiliate sites of the America SCORES national program. For more information, please visit www.AmericaSCORESBayArea.org