Adopt A Player Program Builds Pride and Relationships at West Craven Middle
By: Virginia Bullock, Assistant Principal
Making a connection with students is so important so when Billy Townsend, West Craven Middle School Football Coach started at the school four years ago he saw an opportunity to implement The Adopt A Player program. The goal of this program is to improve and build school relationships and promote not only academic success but student-teacher relationships within the school.
The initial adoption takes place when the student-athlete asks a staff member to represent them by wearing their jersey during school on game days. Players are expected to introduce themselves to their staff member using basic etiquette and social skills such as good eye contact and handshakes. Then throughout the season, the adopted staff member, which can be a teacher, administrator, or school staff, serve as a mentor to the student-athlete. The mentor showers their student with goodies during the season and checks in on them from time to time to see how they are performing in school and how their school year is going. This bond is built throughout the during the season and has helped to improve student teacher relationships, class behavior, and academics.
Since the program was implemented, it has helped build a culture for athletes to feel a sense of belonging to the school and a stronger connection to their teachers. Plus, there is a huge sense of pride for the student athlete when they know they are truly being supported by the school on and off the field. This program originally started to honor the teachers and staff that work so hard to make a difference in our football players’ lives, it has since grown to something much more. WCMS feels this program has really bridged the gap between student athletes and staff. This program supports our students from all areas of our school community and also helps honor our educators who work so hard to make a difference.