The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) department of athletics recently received a community service award distributed by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA).
The NADIIIAA Community Service Awards program, established in 2001, is intended to recognize the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities. Recognition is given for projects in four categories: One-Time Activity/Project, Array of Projects, On-going Project/Activity, and Special Olympics Activity.
In addition to presenting commemorative awards to the four winning institutions, NADIIIAA will make up to a $750 contribution to the general scholarship fund at each of these institutions. The awards were presented during the NADIIIAA Reception at the NCAA Convention held at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Fla. on Saturday, January 26.
In addition to the winners, each category had a runner-up and third place finisher. CMS was the runner-up un the on-going project category.
Every Friday, Nikki Ayers, the Assistant Athletic Director for Administration and Compliance, takes a group of 14-18 student-athletes to Mountain View Elementary School to teach lower grade physical education for an hour. Mountain View does not have dedicated PE teachers and most of the families that have students attending do not have the money to spend on organized youth sports so PE is their introduction to sport and for some, the only time they get to participate in healthy activities.
Each of CMS's 21 teams participates for three weeks out of the academic year. Ayers organizes the CMS team participation calendar each year making sure to avoid traditional and non-traditional seasons for the institution's programs while taking into account the elementary school break calendar as well. The CMS student-athletes run eight organized stations and rotate the classes every 15 minutes. The elementary kids get to participate in three different stations per week for a total of 21 weeks throughout the year.
The objective of the program is to emphasize the importance of being healthy and participating in sports/athletic activities starting at a young age. The CMS student-athletes serve as positive role models for the elementary students and they are providing a service to the elementary school by assisting them in an area of staffing that is currently missing.
This project started four years ago from a conversation between a teacher at Mountain View and a CMS athletic trainer about PE for the lower grades. She wanted to organize something with [the CMS] athletic department as the students who attend Mountain View Elementary don't necessarily have the money to participate in organized youth sports, and so many of the kids come from single parent homes. The CMS student-athletes have been able to serve as positive role models and have been able to develop a great bond with the kids at the school through the program. This has also translated to the Mountain View kids attending free CMS games throughout the year cheering on the student-athletes who teach their PE classes.