July 17, 2003
3,000 Young Athletes from ACS Funded After School Programs Participate in 20th Annual School Age Games
The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Division of Child Care and Head Start held it’s 20th annual School Age Games this afternoon at Riverbank State Park. More then 3,000 children from publicly funded childcare programs throughout New York City learned the value of sportsmanship and athletic activities while preparing for this event during this past academic year.
“What matters most is that these wonderful children are competing hard while they have fun,” said ACS Deputy Commissioner for Child Care and Head Start Harvey I. Newman. “Their efforts on the field will translate to other aspects of their lives. The most important thing they’ll take away from today is that whenever they try, they prove to themselves that they have the capacity to be winners.”
The School Age Games is an annual celebration which began as a summer project in 1984 by the Agency for Child Development, now the ACS division of Child Care and Head Start. The Games are both a cooperative and competitive demonstration of children’s athletic skills. More then 25,000 children have participated in this annual event over the past two decades.
Modeled after the International Olympic Games, the School Age Games offers children ages six to 12 the opportunity to compete in a variety of competitions including cheerleading, double-dutch, rope dancing, soccer, volleyball, basketball, sprinting, relay racing, ball throwing and long jump.
Through after school programs, children are provided with a safe place to learn and socialize while they develop their athletic skills and learn the importance of sportsmanship. Children receive instruction in motor skills, mathematical projection, nutrition, mental concentration, athletic history, goal setting, determination, perseverance and socialization. These skills are set as the ground work in which participants learn about select sports. After months of preparation and practice, these young athletes had the opportunity to utilize the skills which they have been mastering.
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services protects and ensures the safety and well being of New York City’s children and strengthens families. Formed in 1996, the agency oversees the City’s programs of child protection, foster care, preventive services, adoption, child support enforcement, child care and Head Start.