Revival of the National Youth Sports Program

California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) partnered again with the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) to offer over 140 elementary and middle schools a four-week intensive program hosted at CSUB this summer. NYSP serves low-income and at-risk students in fourth grade through eight grade within the Bakersfield City School District, and focuses on academics, citizenship, and college awareness through an emphasis on sports. The goal of the program is to help students develop positive images positive self-images, encourage positive behavior, and nurture aspirations to attend college.

For NYSP students, the summer program was their first visit to a college campus. Students were shown the difference education can make in determining their quality of life and the importance of making positive life choices that lead to completing high school and pursuing education beyond high school. The summer curriculum included math, science, nutrition, money management, and career exploration. Sports offerings included competitions in rugby, softball, golf, swimming, and track and field.

Lessons in drug and alcohol prevention, conflict resolution, and personal goal setting were other important components of the program offered to equip students with positive life skills. Promoting respect, citizenship and sportsmanship all factor into NYSP’s goals of preparing students for academic success and productive citizenship.

Lewis Neal, Bakersfield’s NYSP Director, asserts the importance of holding the summer camp on the university campus. With each day of the program, students become more comfortable in the university setting, are able to envision themselves as university students, and might very well attend CSUB when they graduate high school.

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