On a Saturday afternoon at the Van Cortlandtville Elementary School, you can find the gym filled with energetic and caring volunteers who are ready to team up with their young and equally energetic athletes. Preparing to work on their basketball skills, these unique pairs begin their warm up together. Volunteers help their athletes by teaching them stationary and dynamic stretches, eventually having the athlete take the lead. The pairs then come together to learn what they will be practicing for the day.
Led by Coach Vin Minotti, the athletes often work on different skills through stations. They can be seen dribbling through cones, practicing the “chin-step-pass” to their volunteers, and shooting into different leveled hoops. The differentiation that takes place during these lessons allows the volunteers to work with their athletes at the child’s own pace.
These children benefit from play by having the opportunity to develop their motor skills through sport while also working on their communication and socialization skills. The joy experienced while working with these children fills the gym through the smiles and laughter of both child and volunteer.