In the News

Scholar Athletes Launches Third ‘Zone’ in Springfield Public Schools

Monday, November 7, 2016

Springfield Scholar Athletes (SSA) launched its third SSA Zone at the High School of Commerce today with a ribbon cutting ceremony. SSA is a nonprofit organization working to reduce the opportunity gap for high school students in Springfield by supporting academic achievement through athletics. SSA began working in the city in August 2014 at Putnam Academy, and the success at Putnam led to the launch of a second SSA Zone at neighboring High School of Science and Technology (HSST) and now it’s third at the High School of Commerce.   

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno of Springfield, Superintendent of Schools Daniel J. Warwick and Rebekah Salwasser, Executive Director of Scholar Athletes, joined other guests and high school student Zone members to celebrate the ribbon cutting. Springfield Scholar Athletes is the first expansion for Scholar Athletes outside of Boston.

In partnership with Springfield Public School System, the City of Springfield, and the surrounding communities, this expansion is an opportunity to impact more students through this proven model of success. SSA Zones are school-based learning centers designed and resourced to support and encourage students to set academic and athletic goals, gain needed support to help them stay on track, and provide access and opportunities to explore post-secondary education options.

Superintendent Warwick stated the importance of the work of SSA. “Sometimes all students need is that extra support in order to go from good to great and be successful in school.  As we see our graduation rate continue to climb in the right direction, we are grateful for SSA and their commitment to Springfield Public Schools.  Not only have they started something impactful in our schools, they continue to expand it so that more of our students are beneficiaries of their great work.”

“We are truly excited about the addition of our third Zone and supporting more young people through our work in Springfield,” said Rebekah Salwasser.

About Springfield Scholar Athletes: (SSA)

Springfield Scholar Athletes’, under the umbrella of Scholar Athletes, also operating in Boston as Scholar Athletes (SA) mission is to reduce the opportunity gap for public high school students by supporting academic achievement through athletics. This focus is based on the proven link between athletic participation and positive academic performance. SSA offers students safe, dynamic school-based learning centers called Zones, complete with technology and resources, where they can study and finish their homework during the day and after school. Zones are managed by full-time, fully-trained Program Coordinators to provide academic coaching and mentoring.  SSA programming will include tutoring, an effort that engages students from local colleges, post-secondary guidance, intramural sports as well as academic/athletic scholarships and NCAA navigation guidance.  These collaborative services instill a mindset of excellence in students and athletes alike; building social/emotional skills, shaping character, and enhancing opportunities for success.

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