PRESS RELEASES and News

15,000 Students Participated in Inaugural Year of Fully-Inclusive CPS SCORE! Elementary Sports Program

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools today announced that nearly 15,000 elementary students from nearly 200 schools participated in winter and spring sports during CPS SCORE’s inaugural year. The spring sports season will conclude tomorrow with a culminating championship tournament for track & field, soccer, and floor hockey, featuring nearly 1,000 CPS students from across the city.

CPS SCORE! is the official interscholastic athletics league for CPS elementary schools and the first-of-its-kind initiative in the nation. CPS SCORE! doesn’t cut any student or require tryouts so that it can include all students, regardless of their level of athletic ability.

Before CPS launched this innovative program, only 10 percent of elementary school students participated in after-school sports programs. Both tryouts and budget constraints limited the number of students who could participate on teams, with students as young as 11 being cut from their school team. To provide more students with an opportunity to participate in athletics, CPS SCORE! is fully inclusive of all interested students and guarantees minimum playing time for all team members.

“CPS SCORE! has proven itself as a one-of-a-kind program that has encouraged record numbers of CPS students to join their school team and contribute each weekend,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “The success and momentum of CPS SCORE! during its inaugural year is encouraging for the future of the program, and the future of Chicago’s young athletes.”

CPS SCORE! is made possible through a range of community and corporate partners, including lead partner BMO Harris, the Chicago Blackhawks, World Sport Chicago, Good Sports, the Children First Fund, and Noah’s Arc Foundation, with additional support from Benchmark Construction and Uber. The City of Chicago also appropriated $900,000 from available property tax rebate funding to support the CPS SCORE! program.

“Sports don’t just benefit students on the field, they help instill teamwork, sportsmanship and foster lifelong friendships that can open up worlds of opportunity for our students,” said Chief Education Officer Janice K. Jackson “This innovative program is making a real impact on young lives and bringing together parents, friends and students in support of their schools and communities.”

Thanks to investments from the partners, all students who participated in the spring season conference received coaches, equipment and uniforms.

Spring season games were held at 15 high schools and local park districts across the city. CPS worked with the Chicago Park District, which recruited and trained coaches to lead 329 student teams that practiced twice a week before or after school in preparation for the Saturday conference games. CPS also invited community members to join parents at the Saturday all-day contests in order to build stronger relationships between the community and their neighborhood schools.

The community-focused approach of CPS SCORE! mobilized CPS high school students to volunteer on Saturdays as scorekeepers, scoreboard operators, site managers, and other crucial roles to ensure that game-day activities were efficient and successful. The student volunteers earned service learning credit toward their 40-hour graduation requirement.

Hosting conferences at CPS high schools drives community engagement and allows elementary school parents and students to develop a sense of familiarity with their neighborhood school before transitioning to high school in the coming years.

Families can visit www.cps.edu/score for additional information on the program and learn how to get involved.

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