On Wednesday, June 24, members of Champions for America’s Future helped out with the 7th annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game in Washington, D.C., where female members of Congress and the Press battled each other in a friendly game to raise funds and awareness for young women with breast cancer. Champs member Shelley Smith, a legendary ESPN journalist and breast cancer survivor, threw the honorary first pitch, while Carol Hutchins (“Hutch”), head coach of the University of Michigan‘s softball team, served as an umpire for the game.
Michigan Law Enforcement, Business, Faith-Based, Sports, and Retired Military Leaders Release Video: Tout Benefits of High-Quality Preschool—Two Years Best
(LANSING, MI) — Michigan leaders today released a new video touting that high-quality preschool helps to lay the foundation for a child’s success in school and beyond.
The leaders in law enforcement, business, faith-based organizations, sports, and the retired military released the video on behalf of Council for a Strong America (CSA) and its five membership organizations under its umbrella. The CSA nonprofit organizations comprise the unique and powerful voices of leaders in the five different sectors who are working to ensure young Michiganians have access to high-quality early childhood care and education proven to prepare individuals for success.
Herschel Walker, Hazel Clark and Esther Lofgren meet with legislators to promote quality physical education
Champions members Hazel Clark, Olympic Middle-Distance Runner, and Esther Lofgren, Olympic Gold Medal Rower, and Herschel Walker participated in the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s National Health Through Fitness Day (NHTF Day) on March 4. Their efforts were aimed toward passing major U.S. legislation to “Get America Moving.” Our champions joined the sports industry in advocating for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP)—the only federal funding for P.E. We believe quality P.E. is essential to increase both health and academic outcomes for all students, and since the average school P.E. budget is only $764, PEP funding is an important catalyst for increasing access to strong P.E. programs nationally.
(Lansing) — Champions for America’s Future – Michigan (Champs-MI), a national bipartisan membership organization of athletes and coaches who have come together to make sure every child has the best chance to compete in life, paused in December to salute the leadership of state legislators with the 2014 “Mover & Shaker Award.”
by Lisa Fernandez, pitcher on the U.S. Olympic Gold medal softball teams on 1996, 2000 and 2004 and a Champions for America’s Future member
Long Beach Press Telegram, September 4, 2014—Many students heading back to school this year will find they have lost significant academic ground during the summer. Many will also be a lot heavier as a result of physical inactivity and unhealthy diets. As a parent and coach, I know of two simple ways to address these problems.
To tackle “summer learning loss” we must first recognize its disproportionate impact on kids from economically challenged families which cannot afford access to camps, museums and other educational activities that strengthen cognitive development. Through my involvement with Champions for America’s Future, a nonprofit organization that supports children’s health and educational success, I believe we can address this inequity by ensuring more kids are involved in meaningful learning activities over the summer and all year long.
by John Geddert, 2012 USA Gymnastics Olympic Team head coach, and a Champions for America’s Future member
The Lansing State Journal, May 22, 2014—One of the best things we can do in society is to help kids succeed. It’s a win-win situation when that happens.
I see this play out in the gymnasium every day. Gymnastics is a technically demanding sport. Our athletes have to be extremely bright to understand the complexities of what the sport involves. They also need the social skills to get along with teammates, and the emotional fortitude to succeed. That foundation is built during their early years. These kids have parents who are involved in their development and who understand that good habits early on are required for success.
Research shows at-risk kids who access high-quality preschool can also be better competitors in school and beyond. In the long run, it costs far less for taxpayers when kids grow into individuals who add to the tax base. The benefits of success are tremendous.
Time and again, we get things right. Ensuring that high-quality preschool is accessible is one of the things we get right in Michigan.
VIDEO: Olympic Silver Medalist featured in 60-second video by law enforcement, military, business, faith, and sports leaders
This is a timely message from Judi Brown Clarke, Olympic Silver Medalist, 1984, as lawmakers consider legislation this year on a state/federal partnership to ensure that at-risk 4-year-olds have access to high-quality preschool — a proven tool to help kids establish the foundation to gain knowledge and technologically-based skills for the 21st Century workforce. Those skills will help kids to succeed in school, sports, and jobs.
Judi joined members of five nonprofit membership organizations that are working together to ensure Michigan preschoolers have access to high-quality early childhood care and education proven to prepare individuals for success in school, sports, and life.
High-quality preschool can help young children build essential academic, emotional, and social skills that are critical for later success. At-risk children who attend high-quality early education programs are less likely to need special education, less likely to commit crimes, and more likely to graduate high school.
Coach Pat O’Keefe, Head Coach, Grand Ledge HS Varsity Baseball stood at the podium alongside Champions for America’s Future members former MSU Women’s Track and Field coach Judi Brown Clarke, Ph.D.; Nolan Moody, J.D., a former MSU star and pitcher for the Detroit Tigers minor league system and Appointee to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health & Sports; and and 2012 USA Olympic Gymnastics Team Head Coach John Geddert, who leads Twistars USA Gymnastics Club in Lansing.
New Report Details Evidence That Shows Preschool Increases Graduation Rates
(April 23, 2014)—A group of four-year-olds at Lansing’s EC3 – Educational Child Care Center, spent “recess” with some interesting visitors today: top Michigan athletes and coaches who released a report on behalf of Champions for America’s Future entitled, I Can’t Coach the Kids Who Drop Out. The report spotlights the impact of high-quality preschool on long-term academic achievement, high school graduation rates and college readiness. In addition they urged lawmakers to step up to the plate in support of Governor Snyder’s plan to ensure that Michigan is a “no-wait” state for preschool.