Start Smart: Innovative Program a Hit in Communities across the Nation

By Bach, Greg | Parks & Recreation, April 1997 | Go to article overview

Start Smart: Innovative Program a Hit in Communities across the Nation


Bach, Greg, Parks & Recreation


Thousands of children have been reaping the benefits of an innovative skill-building program that is offered through parks and recreation departments nationwide. START SMART Sports Development Program--a fun-filled and educational approach to teaching children as young as three motor skills like throwing, catching and kicking before they step on the playing field--is sweeping the country. Since its inception two years ago, more than 150 of the six-week programs have been staged from California to Connecticut and just about everywhere in between.

"It's been a real big hit," said Mark Nelson, recreation supervisor for the Springfield/Greene County (MO) Park Board. "There is finally an appropriate sports program we can offer three to five year olds." Nearly 70 youngsters and their parents participated in four programs that were conducted in Springfield last year. The programs were so successful, that five more have been added for 1997. START SMART is now one of the many programs available year round in Springfield, as it is in many other parks and recreation departments across the country.

"If you are a parks and recreation department, this program is a perfect fit," said Keith Larson, program supervisor for the Golden Gate Community Center in Naples (FL), which offers the program on a regular basis. "We really like it and it's something we're trying to start at all of our community centers."

START SMART is also getting high marks from parents who savor the bonding time the program promotes through one-on-one work between parents and kids in a supervised setting. As these parents learn how to teach youngsters proper techniques, they become better candidates to fill future volunteer coaching positions.

"The response I hear from parents is that they loved the opportunity to work in a structured program that will help their kids learn and grow," Larson said. "Kids love to learn and they love seeing results. And most importantly they love the interaction with their parents. They can't wait to say to mom or dad, `look what I can do now.'"

It's what kids weren't able to do when it came to skills like throwing and catching that led the National Alliance for Youth: Sports to build START SMART. The Alliance is a nonprofit organization that works to provide safe and meaningful sports for America's youth. The program was created following a national study conducted at Northern Kentucky University which found that an alarming 49% of children ages five through eight lacked the minimum skills necessary to play organized sports. Its no secret that children who have success in sports are going to stay involved longer and develop higher levels of confidence than those whose experience turns sour when they're unable to meet the expectations of coaches, parents, friends, or even of themselves.

"We run a lot of youth sports programs and there are so many kids you see who do not have the basic fundamentals," Nelson said. "We had been looking for a program to fit into our goal of teaching the younger-aged kids basic fundamentals and when I came across START SMART it was exactly what I was looking for."

"It's perfect to develop fundamental skills and coordination for children when they are starting to become active around the age of three, until they are ready to start an organized program at five or six. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Start Smart: Innovative Program a Hit in Communities across the Nation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.