Every child in this country deserves a Coach Across America coach. A Coach Across America coach is an adult whom they can turn to for support and guidance on the many challenges they face growing up. A Coach Across America coach is trained to respond to that child's challenges within the context of that child’s age, gender, socioeconomic status, and cultural background. A Coach Across America coach is a lifeline to many of our youth living in circumstances where they have no other responsible adult to be their role model.
Up2Us is dedicated to building coaches through Coach Across America and to supporting the impact of all coaches throughout America.
I've written time and time again in this blog that we must find “new solutions,” if we are going to overcome the persistent challenges that threaten the well-being of our youth. Real education reform does not start in the school, it starts in the home and it encompasses every step a child takes between the door of that home and the door of their classroom. Children need all kinds of adults to navigate this journey successfully. While parents and teachers may be the “bookends,” it's the coaches who are the "in-betweens." Coaches fill the parks, the gyms, the pools, the playgrounds, the community centers and even abandoned lots with safe, healthy and engaging activities. They make our cities more vibrant, our neighbors more connected, and our kids more able to succeed.
Coaches are this “new solution” and that is why I am proclaiming 2013 “The Year of the Coach.”
To celebrate this proclamation, I am also announcing the launch of our National Coach Across America Advisory Board. This board will consist of a distinguished group of professional coaches who are willing to speak out on the importance of coaching as a means of addressing the health, violence and academic challenges facing young people across the nation. The founding members of this board are Coach Roy Williams of The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Coach “P”, Joanne Palombo-McCallie, of Duke University. While their schools may represent one of the nation's greatest basketball rivalries on the courts, they have united to speak out on behalf of the power of coaching in our communities. Throughout this year, Up2Us will be adding more professional coaches to support our campaign.
As we start 2013, let me thank Mercedes-Benz USA, Nike Inc., the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the Corporation for National & Community Service and the Department of Justice. Together, they have helped us create a national workforce of coaches. And let me say thanks you to Coach Williams and Coach P. You are both role models for our youth. You help us rethink what's possible. Why, with the example you set in North Carolina, who knows what’s next? Let’s get a NY coach to join hands with a coach from Boston! Let’s get a Chicago Coach to partner with a coach from Green Bay! Ohio and Michigan!???
Rivalries aside, we know sports have the power to unite us a nation…and what greater cause to direct that power towards than our youth.
Happy Year of the Coach!
Paul Caccamo Executive Director