Harlem RBI Summer and After-School Programs
- Award Entered:
UNICEF Sport for Education Award
- Parent Organisation:
- Project Host Nation:
- Overview of Project:
Harlem RBI’s approach to youth development and education addresses the barriers inner-city youth typically face by providing concrete opportunities to build the skills and confidence needed to break the cycle of poverty through sports, academic and enrichment activities during after-school and summer hours. All Harlem RBI participants play on a baseball or softball team, which serves both as a “hook” to attract youth participation and as a tool to help youth develop as leaders, teammates and friends. Harlem RBI is ultimately interested in its youth to graduate high school and complete post-secondary education. Harlem RBI recognizes the clear connection between physical fitness and learning: studies have concluded that regular physical activity not only improves learning, raises test scores and increases attendance rates but also raises self-esteem and lowers stress, both of which have been associated with better academic performance. Participation on a team also provides opportunities for youth to practice teamwork, develop leadership skills and accept responsibility for themselves and their peers. In a community where organized sports programs are scarce, Harlem RBI provides an outlet for healthy competition where youth can feel proud of their accomplishments, which leads to positive social, mental and physical growth.