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More Than 15,000 Chicago Students Finish Fall Season of Innovative Elementary Sports Program

20 November 2017

CPS SCORE! Nearly Doubles the Number of Student Participants; Launches Innovative Soccer Program with Chicago Fire and Chicago Red Stars

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

Monday, November 20, 2017

CHICAGO - More than 15,000 Chicago Public School elementary students from 280 schools dedicated their fall weekends to volleyball, cross country and soccer competitions as part of the CPS SCORE! fall sports season, nearly doubling the number of students who participated in last winter’s inaugural season. As participation in CPS SCORE! continues to climb, the district has established new partnerships and programs, such as Junior SCORE! – a groundbreaking program with the Chicago Fire and Chicago Red Stars that provides soccer coaching and innovative lessons to students in the Belmont-Cragin community. To celebrate the end of the first fall season, hundreds of students from across Chicago participated in the CPS SCORE! Fall Championships this past weekend at Hanson Stadium.

“This unique program goes beyond competing – it teaches students skills they can use on and off the field,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “As students finish an active and successful fall season, we’re looking forward to a strong winter season that will provide opportunities for even more students across the city. We also want to thank our partners at the Chicago Park District for helping to provide coaches.”

As the official interscholastic athletics league for CPS elementary school students and the first-of-its-kind public school sports model in the nation, CPS SCORE! (Sports Can Open Roads to Excellence), doesn’t cut any student or require tryouts, giving every student an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of team sports, regardless of their level of athletic ability.

The district has also expanded additional partnerships and programming, such as Junior SCORE! – a unique program between CPS and two MLS soccer teams: the Chicago Fire and Chicago Red Stars. This program provides students in the Belmont-Cragin community with the opportunity to interact with and learn from the professional soccer players, and also incorporates lessons on social and emotional learning, player development and nutrition. Junior SCORE! will continue this spring.

Before CPS SCORE! only 10 percent of elementary school students participated in afterschool sports programs. Both tryouts and budget constraints limited the number of students who could participate on teams, with students as young as 11 being cut from a team during school tryouts. CPS SCORE! establishes a minimum playing time requirement to ensure that all team members have the opportunity to practice and play. The program has also greatly expanded access to sports that weren’t previously offered at many schools.

“Research shows that participating in team sports helps students grow on the field and in the classroom,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “As CPS SCORE! expands, it will continue to provide opportunities for camaraderie and growth for students, the participating schools and the surrounding communities.”

Fall season games and competitions were held on Saturdays at 25 high schools, which helped build stronger relationships between communities and their neighborhood schools while bringing people together from across the city. The success of the CPS SCORE! fall season is the result of its community-based involvement, as high school students actively volunteered as scorekeepers, scoreboard operators, site managers, and other crucial roles to ensure that game-day activities were efficient and successful. All student volunteers can earn service learning credit toward their 40-hour graduation requirement.

Our sponsors and partners played a significant role making our season successful while investing in the strength of the program for years to come. CPS thanks fall's lead sponsors: BMO, World Sport, Target, Chicago Fire, Hawks and supporting partners Good Sports, Uber, Benchmark Construction, Red Stars, Sports Shed, Gonzo Soccer and Positive Coaching Alliance for supporting and investing in Chicago’s children through sports.

CPS SCORE! will kick off its winter season next month. Families can visit for additional information on the program and learn how to get involved.

Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

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