Physical education comes first at Urban Dove Team Charter School in a low-income Brooklyn neighborhood, reports CBS News. High school students spend the first three hours of every day working out with their team mates and coaches.
They play basketball, lift weights, jump rope, use punching bags, ride bikes, and do yoga. Students rotate sports depending on the season.
. . . When kids go to Social Studies, English and Math, their coaches go with them . . . sitting in class, helping with homework, and sorting out problems.
If a student walks out of class, coach Alana Arthurs follows to ask “What’s wrong?” She wants to know “how can I get you back in the classroom so you can continue to learn.”
Ninety-three percent of students come from low-income families; one third are in special education. The school recruits “overage/under-credited students” with poor attendance records.
Jai Nanda developed the school after running an after-school sports program for inner-city kids, Urban Dove. He saw teens who’d attend school only if they were playing on a sports team. When the season ended, they stopped showing up.
Three hours a day for sports is an awful lot, but nothing else has worked for these kids.