“6TH & GOAL – MODEL UP” Sixth Grade Football Returns to Little Rock Public Schools

(August 3, 2017) -The Little Rock School District (LRSD) announced  the return of a football program for sixth grade public school students in the district. With an emphasis on character, goal-setting and opportunity development for participating sixth graders, the innovative new program is called “6TH & GOAL – MODEL UP” and is being made possible by special corporate and community support.

LRSD Superintendent Michael Poore said that none of the financing needed to support the program will come from LRSD funds.  “We are thrilled to be able to reinstate the new program after months of consideration and planning.  This would not have been possible without the leadership of Dr. Fitz Hill, a member of the State Department of Education Board of Directors, and the generosity of business and community leaders who have committed to providing financial support, as well as a growing number of volunteer coaches/mentors who will assist our LRSD coaches and staff,” said Poore.

                           

Little Rock School District Athletic Director John Daniels reiterated the importance of the program. “Historically, preparation for middle and senior high school football begins in the sixth grade where players learn the fundamentals. It may not seem like a big deal, but without a quality sixth grade program, the public school football programs in Little Rock are at a competitive disadvantage at the secondary level. It also puts individual players at a disadvantage in terms of gaining skills and having time to refine them so they are competitive for college football programs,” continued Daniels.

All program expenses will be covered by private fundraising efforts that will be donated to a newly created Little Rock School District Athletic Foundation. The average cost to equip each athlete for the football program is $225. To date, local businesses that have pledged support include: Bear State Bank, First Security Bank, Bill Dillard and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In addition, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Martin-Wilbourn Partners and SportsStop Athletic Products are providing a range of supporting elements.  Additional funds are needed and you can show your support at a variety of donor levels by going to gofundme.com/6thandgoal-modelup  to find out how you can participate. You can also make a check payable to: Little Rock School District Athletic Foundation/6TH & GOAL Program, 3010 West 7th Street, Little Rock, AR 72205.

The program is seeking additional volunteer coaches/mentors (who will be required to undergo background checks) to work with the coaches and school personnel to provide support to these student athletes during this critical transitional year.  The coaches/mentors will be expected to attend practices and games to provide the needed skills training for fundamental development while also serving as positive community role models both on and off the field --- thus the program’s “MODEL UP” slogan.

Marcus Elliott, a former Razorback and Little Rock Central High School graduate, will lead the volunteer team. While this effort will provide student athletes with football fundamentals, the “MODEL UP” program slogan is focused on providing positive role models.  “We know that the sixth grade is a transitional year in the lives of these young people. Our goal is to show them the way to achieve their lifetime goals, not just crossing the goal line on the football field. That’s why we named the program, 6TH & GOAL,” said Elliot.

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