On today's show, Adrian and Ethan take us back to an interview with the Atlanta nonprofit Soccer in the Streets from last year and look what they've accomplished this past year. Bruce Gale brings us an interview with one of our earlier Kid Heroes, Joey Gouthiere.
Three decades ago, most people led lives that kept them at a fairly healthy weight. This was a time when kids walked to and from school every day, ran around during school recess, participated in gym class, and played outside for hours. Meals were different as well…they were usually home-cooked, portion sizes were reasonable and there was always at least one vegetable on the plate…and it wasn’t french fries. Eating fast food was a rare occasion and snacking between meals was an occasional treat.
Today, children experience a very different lifestyle. Walks to and from school have been replaced by car and bus rides. Gym class and after-school sports have been cut in many schools, particularly in high poverty areas. When kids get home from school now, they spend their afternoons in front of the TV, with video games, and on the Internet. Parents are busier than ever today and as a result, families eat fewer home-cooked meals together. Snacking between meals is now commonplace.
Children are more sedentary than ever and childhood obesity has become a major problem, yet schools are cutting back on physical education at all grade levels. Although it is not the responsibility of the education system to solve the problem of inactivity, the reality is that for many children, if they don’t get their physical activity in school, they don’t get any.
Sports, whether team-based or individual, are a great activity for children that provide a variety of benefits other than physical activity. Participation in sports can help build self-esteem and confidence, can motivate children to excel academically and can help build social skills.
Unfortunately, many at-risk youths are not involved in organized sports for financial reasons. Low-income families are 4 times more likely to decrease participation in sports due to costs. 60% of kids who play sports have to pay a fee.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, student athletes are 4 times more likely to attend college.
This brings us to Soccer in the Streets...
Soccer in the Streets is an Atlanta nonprofit that empowers underserved youth through soccer training, character development, mentoring, and employability programs.
The organization serves in a holistic and comprehensive way, reaching kids on the field, in small-group classroom sessions, through hands-on experiences and activities, and participation in youth leadership councils. @soccerstreets
Soccer in the Streets is home to the world’s first soccer field in a train station. Bev had the opportunity to visit the unique Five Points MARTA Station Urban Soccer Field…the first of many planned for Atlanta. They're committed to leveling the playing field so that all youth can play soccer and find new opportunity in life regardless of where they live. Each dollar people pay to play in one of their leagues or events helps a kid play in an urban soccer program in Atlanta.
A year ago, Bev sat down at the field with Lauren Glancy, Sanjay Patel and Tess Patton from Soccer in Streets to talk about their programs for youth.
Since then they've opened two more fields. StationSoccer- West End opened in September 2018. It was converted from an unused space into a vibrant green soccer field for all the residences of the West End community to use. The goal for West End is to provide access to the beautiful game of soccer while tackling the barrier of transportation.
Station Soccer – East Point just opened earlier this month and is across the street from the East Point MARTA station. The pitch was built in conjunction with the Atlanta United Foundation, MARTA, and the Transformation Alliance. This third location of this innovative project, is the first to be built within one block of a transit station and completed with a broad group of partners.
Last week Bruce brought us our Kid Hero, Julianna Gouthiere. This week we highlight her brother, Joey Gouthiere. Altruism runs in this family.
Joey Gouthiere, 12, of Shreveport, Louisiana, a seventh-grader at Youree Drive Middle School, is on a mission to take care of the planet through “Geaux Green,” an environmental campaign that encompasses gardening, recycling, conservation and community beautification.
After Joey settled on Geaux Green for the name, he designed a logo and began telling people about his mission through fliers, social media and word of mouth.
Joey and his sister launched GeauxShowLove, nonprofit organization of Bear Share and Geaux Green. @geauxshowlove
Today, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with Joey.