Posted by:   Added: 18th June, 2012   1 Comment

The 2012 London Olympics is a timely reminder for children of what makes a great athlete: hard work, dedication, perseverance, and optimism. Classroom Champions is a not-for-profit organization that brings these values into the classroom by connecting Olympians and Paralympians with students through recorded videos, written blogs, and live chat.

Each top-performing athlete adopts 1-4 classrooms per year, and teaches students about their personal journey in competitive sports, and their approach to setting goals and overcoming challenges. With support from their teacher, students then apply these valuable life lessons to curriculum-based activities such as letter writing, reading, goal setting, technology, geography, and leadership.

Being a role-model

Focusing their attention on students in grades three to eight in high-need schools, Classroom Champions aims to inspire students to “recognize their potential, set goals, and dream big”, while increasing their digital literacy.

Athlete role-models connect with their classroom once a month using Umi Telepresence technology, and hone in on a specific topic, such as respect or fair play. Students interact with their athletes by sending photos, emails, and a video message back each month.

Paralympic gold medalist, Mary Alison Milford talks about respecting people’s disabilities

Olympic medalist, David Oliver explains how to keep moving forward with attainable goals

Making a difference

“You made me realize that I can be a doctor because if you can do it, I know I can do it. And since you finished your dream, I know I can finish mine.” – 3rd grade student, Atlanta, GA

“You encouraged these kids to believe in themselves and to have the confidence and self-discipline to reach for their goals no matter what the circumstances – to not wait for things to happen, but to get up, get focused and always strive to improve themselves.” – Michelle Lanz, 3rd grade teacher

By making a donation, you can help Classroom Champions gather digital tools, such as televisions and computers – and connect more low-income schools to inspirational Olympic role-models.

  • Leigh Parise

    Thanks for helping to spread the word about Classroom Champions, TeachingShop! When my brother and I formed Classroom Champions, we hoped to connect students in high-need schools with athletes from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams in order to motivate them to recognize their potential, set goals and dream big, while educating them in the practical use of communications technology. While we support and facilitate this connection, it is the dedicated teachers participating in the program who really make it a success. We are very proud to have completed our first official program year with over 700 students in 25 classrooms around the US.

    Much of our content, videos and lesson plans, is publicly available and we invite educators to use it in their own classrooms as they wish. Check out our YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as the web site.