ST MARYS — The Dutch Hoop Basketball Clinic recently held at South St. Marys Street Elementary School was a comprehensive community collaboration to help students grow.
Mandy Assalone, a physical education teacher at SSMSES, said the clinic, a new venture, included four sessions, the last of which took place on March 3 and 10.
It all started when Assalone was asked to coach the fourth-grade boys’ basketball team, she said.
“I loved seeing how the boys were growing and learning so much,” she said.
Assalone and his colleague, first-grade teacher Heather Kocjancic, then agreed that it would be great to do something more for the younger ones. Forming a partnership, Kocjancic handled the clinic’s accounting and Assalone handled the skills.
“We started planning, and the more people knew about it, the more we realized how much kids needed this type of activity,” Assalone said.
The clinic has also been a great collaboration, she said, with help from the boys’ basketball team, older students, teachers and staff, and the boys’ head coaches. and girls, managers and former players.
“It was so great to see our kids respond to it,” Assalone said.
There were 10 different stations for students each week, and volunteers help run them, she said.
“The students circled each station for about three and a half minutes,” Assalone said.
The stations included “shooting, layups, dribbling, ball handling, agility, passing, rebounding and defending,” she said, trying to incorporate something different each week.
“The kids come and don’t stop moving until it’s time to leave,” she said.
The clinic was a great way to provide social activities, in addition to basketball skills, that help students grow, Assalone said.
“Hearing positive feedback from students who aren’t really into sports about their love for sports was so amazing!” she says.