More than 100 local elementary and middle school teachers spent last Saturday morning at Honda Center as the Ducks hosted their annual S.C.O.R.E. Program Instructors Seminar.
The goal of the event was to bring together teachers and physical education instructors from participating S.C.O.R.E. schools and provide updates, support and hands-on instruction for those utilizing the program's Street Hockey curriculum on their campuses.
Through initiatives that include in-class education, physical education and STEM-based programming, the award-winning Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. (Scholastic Curriculum of Recreation & Education) Program provides local schools with tools, such as the Street Hockey Program, to integrate educational themes, character development and healthy living into the classroom through the sport of hockey. Since its inception in 2005, and with the support of the Anaheim Ducks Foundation, more than 300,000 students across five Southern California counties have been impacted by S.C.O.R.E, and the program is expected to reach 40,000 students this year alone.
The teachers and instructors in attendance at the seminar received an overview of some exciting changes to the S.C.O.R.E. Street Hockey Program that are being implemented this year.
The 10-day curriculum, which was originally designed for fourth grade students, has been completely rewritten and now provides schools the option of expanding their instruction to first through sixth graders, along with the ability to easily modify the drills for varying skill levels. The revamped curriculum also integrates specific STEM-based elements, as well as concepts used in USA Hockey's American Development Model (ADM).
On the equipment side, the Ducks partnered with Bauer Hockey to redesign the street hockey sticks that are provided to the schools as a part of the program. The sticks will now come in three sizes, as well as both left-handed and right-handed options. And each stick will include custom Ducks-themed graphics that will assist teachers in showing students how to properly hold the stick.
For instructional support, the teachers were introduced to the C.R.E.W. - Community Recreational and Educational Workforce - a team of street hockey instructors that are available to assist the teachers on campus as they work through the curriculum with their students.
Pat Shea, a fourth grade teacher at Fairmont Elementary in Yorba Linda, has been a long-time participant in the Ducks S.C.O.R.E. in-class educational programming, but is excited to now bring the Street Hockey Program to her school.
"I want our kids to get that same excitement with the street hockey as they get with programs we already use, like Reading is the GOAL," said Shea. "I love the way the curriculum brings in teamwork and how they've added the STEM concepts to it. I want to see our kids be super excited about learning and fall in love with the whole experience of hockey. And I know that's what this program is going to do. It's so exciting to be a part of it."
The teachers also received a review of the club's roller hockey program, the Anaheim Ducks i3 (Interscholastic, Inline, Initiative) Roller Hockey League. Designed as a "next step" for fifth through eight grade students after having received street hockey instruction as fourth graders, the league has grown from four teams in its initial year to fielding nearly 30 teams this season.
Lori Matsumaga, a seventh and eighth grade math and language arts teacher at St. Columban School in Garden Grove, shared her experiences as a participant in the i3 League and how forming a roller hockey team at her school has impacted the kids far beyond the rink.
"Many of our kids had no idea about hockey before joining the team, but I can see the excitement and passion for hockey that it brings out in them," said Matsumaga. "And it's coming out into the classroom too. They're collaborating more. There's more teamwork in the group activities. It's building self-confidence in the students. The program promotes all of these things, and that's what I love about it."
After hearing about several S.C.O.R.E. program updates, the teachers and instructors moved out to the Honda Center parking lot where they were able to see and practice many of the street hockey drills found in the curriculum.
For fifth grade teacher at Courreges Elementary in Fountain Valley (and former Ducks staff member) Lindsey Ruck, the lack of a designated P.E. teacher at her school means the use of the Street Hockey Program will be essential in helping her and her colleagues meet required physical education standards.
"Now we have a way to get the kids to participate in a sport, get them actively moving and get them learning hockey, all while meeting our P.E. standards and framework," said Ruck. "The Ducks are giving us the means, the equipment and the help to make it happen. It's absolutely incredible that we can now bring hockey into our school."
With the updated curriculum, newly designed equipment and continued instructional support, the S.C.O.R.E. Street Hockey Program is expected to reach an additional 10,000 students annually at participating schools, impacting nearly 15,000 students each year through street hockey.
"When you can take something that kids love, like hockey," said Shea, "and tie it into school curriculum and make it come alive, we've just excited a whole generation of kids."
For more information on the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. Program, visit ducksscore.com.