Alumnae Donations, Youth Projects Expand
Thanks to the financial support of two Smith alumnae, a
pair of outreach projects developed at the college will have
an impact on an even greater number of young people.
Project Coach coaches meet their teams.
, which teaches
coaching and fundamental leadership skills to dozens of
young people from the nearby cities of Holyoke, Chicopee
and Springfield, recently received a three-year grant totaling
$45,000 from Jane Cecil ’50, to expand
to other communities.
Meanwhile, Smith’s (Summer Talent Exploration
Program–Unleashed Potential), which brings middle school
girls to campus for one week each summer to help them discover
and develop their talents and interests while learning about
college, was offered at another college four states away.
STEP UP, which is funded
by Linda Salisbury ’78 through
The Salisbury Foundation, invites students to Smith from
several leadership schools for young women across the nation,
including the Chestnut Accelerated Middle School of Springfield,
For the past six summers, participating girls have learned
about important health issues, challenged themselves with
activities such as rock climbing and horseback riding, improved
their leadership skills, and developed their ability to set
and achieve goals.
Among the many new skills learned by STEP UP participants:
wall climbing and horseback riding.
For five years, Project Coach, which was started by Sam
Intrator, associate professor of education and child study,
and Donald Siegel, professor of exercise and sport studies,
has prepared teens between ages 14 and 18 to coach basketball
and soccer to elementary school children (in grades two through
five). Each year the program employs three dozen coaches
and nearly 200 elementary-aged children.
Last month, Salisbury, who is a member of the Smith Board
of Trustees, invited Project Coach to bring its curriculum
model to the STEP UP program she was creating at Wabash College
in Indiana. Her aim was to provide the benefits of her proven
STEP UP model to middle school boys.
The program began with a weekend retreat in Chicago, called
Project Coach Academy, that focused on developing a range
of core leadership skills such as conflict resolution, strategic
planning, communication and motivating others. The Project
Coach staff and Salisbury then visited Wabash College to
implement a week-long intensive version of its model to underserved
urban teens from Chicago and Benton Harbor, Mich., who had
been identified in their communities as emerging leaders.
With Cecil’s grant, Project Coach plans to expand
and further develop its program model, said Intrator. “We
are thrilled to have Jane Cecil’s support,” he
said. “This funding will allow us to expand Project
Coach into other schools, colleges, and communities.”
An adult supervisor at
the Boys and Girls Club in Crawfordsville, Ind., recently
underscored the importance of Project Coach. “In only
four days, the youth coaches have changed the whole dynamic
and feel of the place,” he told Intrator. “We’ve
had kids pressed against the doors waiting for you [Project
Coach staff] to arrive.”
overview of Project Coach.