Last week at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park, Sporting Kansas City hosted a very dedicated group of soccer loving students from Prairie Ridge Elementary school. All 109 students of the PRE Soccer Readers Club were in attendance at Wednesday’s Training session and a chance to meet a couple of the Sporting Kansas City players they had been learning about, Jimmy Nielsen and Soony Saad.
Earlier this fall, Prairie Ridge Elementary School joined forces with the Sporting Club Network and Sporting Kansas City to increase enthusiasm for reading through soccer by forming the PRE Soccer Readers Club. Led by PRE Teacher Brandi Leggett, who in addition to leading this program has been nominated for Kansas Teacher of the Year, these one hundred or so 3rd to 5th graders, armed with a passion for soccer and reading, met on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 to not only work on their own soccer skills, but to read and discuss the bio of that week’s Sporting Kansas City player.
When the discussion was over, the students were assigned homework consisting of five questions relevant to the player that they had learned about that day. The students were challenged to come up with critical answers which showed a greater understanding of what they had read beyond just simple observations. The only way to make the trip to Wednesday's Training session was to complete every assignment, and miraculously not a single student missed out on this requirement. To top it off, each weekly gathering ended in the way that all Sporting Kansas City fans should end their meetings - with the “I Believe” supporter’s chant.