The Skills Center uses sports to teach kids about math - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

The Skills Center in Tampa Bay uses sports to teach kids math

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A center in the Tampa Bay area, designed to help children ages 3 to 18 improve their education, uses something many kids enjoy as the hook, sports.

It's called the Skills Center and they're changing the game when it comes to education. The Skills Center in Tampa is a non-profit group that uses sports to teach kids how to become successful off the court.

"We believe that sports is a powerful learning tool and we want to use it as a strategy to help young people increase their math aptitude," one of the center's four founders Celeste Roberts said.

"Kids learn naturally through sports so we use sports through the hook to bring the kids in."

Roberts says the center has been operating since 2009. Their purpose  is to help young people develop leadership skills through sportsmanship and improve their math achievement at the same time.

"Any sport you play there's numbers attached to it. It could be the measurement of the court or of the field," Roberts said.

"It could be your percentages," she added. "There's a variety of techniques we utilize in bringing math - making math fun for kids."

But it's about more than sports and math, it's about teaching good behavior, work ethics, responsibility and conflict resolution, among many other things.

And to do that,  the group uses after school and summer programs and skills development clinics. It also hosts a yearly youth sports expo. They bring in college and pro athletes to help.

"We talk about teamwork, how do we take that in to the home and show kids how to transfer that into a bigger picture? They can take with them for life," Roberts said.

The hope is that the hundreds of kids' lives they touch will learn a little about sports and lot about the game of life.

The Skills Center is having a fundraiser this weekend to raise money to continue their efforts. It's called the Masquerade Event and will be held Saturday night on the Yacht Starship.

It features entertainment from some local artists and national jazz recording artist and producer Norman Connors.

 

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