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How Charter School of Educational Excellence Emphasizes Life Lessons in Sports


These SPORTS TEACH posters are located in the highest traffic area in the school.

Yonkers, NY—
A few years ago, Michael DeSimone attended a PCA event with the Westchester Knicks. From that moment forward, he was sold on the potential impact of PCA programs. DeSimone, the Physical Education, Health & Athletic Director at Charter School of Educational Excellence (CSEE) needed to take the next step, so only a few months ago, started a partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance-New York City. According to DeSimone, "the program has gotten so big that culture is a huge component now. Bringing in PCA was a no brainer."

CSEE recently hosted their first workshop with over 200 parents receiving unbelievable feedback about PCA trainer Randy Nathan. But, to DeSimone, the impact started before that workshop even began, with the Sports Teach posters on the wall. DeSimone partnered with PCA to ensure his coaches emphasize life skills in every practice and in every game. The first step in improving athletic culture was making character a focal point of the entire school, not just the athletic department.

"I'm not sure that teachers and people across the school realize that, with the right coaching, sports teach life lessons, such as resilience, hard work, character, and more," DeSimone said. "So we worked with PCA to put up these Sports Teach posters in the highest traffic area in the school." These signs help teachers, coaches, and all student-athletes understand the real power of sports, when done right. In order to get to the gym, the teachers lounge, the cafeteria, and most classrooms, students, parents, and teachers alike walk by these sports teach posters.

So, by the time PCA hosted their first workshop with parents, the message was already clear. These posters helped pack the room for the workshop, and parents were ready to learn.

Parents and teachers alike were so struck by the placement of these posters that they shared their thoughts on this emphasis as well.

One parent noted, "I appreciate the positive energy and commitment put forth by CSEE Athletics. Monday was a great learning evening with experiencing the Positive Coaching Alliance and seeing the inspiring Sports Teach wall. The Sport Teach wall conveys a powerful message and serves as a great daily inspiration to student-athletes and coaching staff. This workshop reminded me of how lucky I am as a parent to have my daughter partake in CSEE Athletics."

Other teachers continued, explaining, "I walk by this display quite often and try to focus on a different word every time. I believe that a teacher having an issue with an athlete in class should look at this before passing judgment on that student. I feel this display can enlighten both teachers and students about the benefits of being a student-athlete in the classroom."


One teacher summed it up perfectly: "The display of these words on our school walls helped bring to light their true importance and meaning. They helped break the stereotype I once believed was true. As a spectator it's very easy to forget the work that was put in before the success, especially as student-athletes. These words remind us we are only as good as our team, whether it is the team you are playing with on the field, or your family and friends."

The sports teach posters were inspired by a nationwide campaign run by PCA at the end of 2018. You can view the sports teach video below.

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Learn about our Sports Teach campaign in Times Square in 2018!

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