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Washington Capitals, DCPS Launch District-Wide Street Hockey Curriculum

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
ARLINGTON, Va. –Through a partnership with DC Public Schools (DCPS), the Washington Capitals will introduce hockey to more than 48,000 students across 111 schools through a multi-week street-hockey curriculum beginning in February, the Washington Capitals announced today.

The programming, which will become a core unit in the physical education curriculum, is part of the Capitals’ investment of more than $1.6 million toward the development of youth hockey in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and is funded primarily by the National Hockey League’s Industry Growth Fund (IGF). $300,000 has been awarded to initiatives focusing on diversity and $900,000 has been allocated toward the advancement of ball and street hockey. The Capitals will contribute an additional $401,000 toward the growth of youth hockey in support of the project.

The NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) established the IGF within the 2013 collective bargaining agreement to advance the development of youth hockey. The Capitals application was reviewed and approved last spring by a committee comprised on NHLPA and NHL officials.

In December the Capitals provided each elementary, middle, and high school P.E. teacher in the city with hockey skills training from the Washington Capitals community relations and youth hockey staff. In January, the Capitals provided schools with a full set of branded street hockey equipment specifically designed for their students’ age group. The Capitals and DCPS developed a curriculum for teachers to use in the street hockey program based on the USA Hockey American Development Model. During the school year, Capitals staff will continue to provide guidance and instruction to DCPS, and select schools will be invited to the Capitals practice facility to watch the team practice and participate in a free skate.

“The Capitals have been committed to growing hockey participation in the region since the team’s inception, but I’m extremely proud of the new partnership we have forged with D.C. Public Schools,” said Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals majority owner and founder of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “We are taking hockey to more than 100 DC Public Schools, and they will activate a hockey curriculum to more than 48,000 students. This initiative is breaking down the barriers and introducing the sport to students who otherwise may not have been exposed to hockey. This is a tremendous undertaking, and we appreciate the efforts and support of Chancellor Kaya Henderson and her staff.”

“Bringing high-quality physical education to our students is an important part of our curriculum,” said Brian Pick, Chief of Teaching and Learning at DC Public Schools. “This year we have taught all second graders to ride bikes, have opened pools for swimming classes, and now are bringing hockey to our students.”

In addition, the Capitals will use a portion of the funding to refurbish outdoor street hockey rinks in Maryland and Virginia. The Capitals will refurbish each rink to make them safer and usable year-round by adding durable Sportcourt flooring and replacing or repairing other features like flooring, boards, benches, scoreboards and fencing as needed. To further encourage the growth of the game, surrounding schools will receive a full set of street hockey equipment in conjunction with the refurbishment.

The Capitals and DCPS will host an assembly to launch the new curriculum at Shepherd Elementary School in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 9:30 a.m. Additional information on the visit will be released to media next week.

CLICK HERE to view the DCSPS initiative on Monumental Network.
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