Kickball for All is happening June 4th at the Boston Commons Little League Field, and the competition is fierce! We caught up with some of our team captains to hear what they had to say.
Luisa Baginski and the Amazing Blue Cats
The photo is a team shot from the very first Kickball for All, where my team from Boston Academy of English (BAE) took the field as “Ballsy Athletic Educators”, and were ignominiously renamed as ‘Teachers With Balls’ by our esteemed leader in the heat of the mc-ing moment. Thanks for that Mark.
I have as much general athletic ability as a geriatric toad, and only for this will I take to the field. I am, however, extremely competitive and “determined”, as I like to think of myself. The word “stubborn” has also been used. So, please do prepare yourself for the bitter taste of defeat because this year that shiny trophy is MINE!
In all seriousness though, I do believe 100% in the work that we do here at Tutors for All, and it’s importance in so many people’s lives. It’s easy to forget when we are face with such huge, insurmountable-seeming problems as inequality, poverty, the achievement gap, that living through these problems are real human individuals, children. The work we do allows us the privilege of reaching those individuals, helping them change their personal story, and knowing the faces and the names behind the numbers. The numbers are impressive, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the names, the real people whose lives we touch, that we do this for. That’s who we are playing for on June 4th, and who we really want to win.
Bring it on people!
“Kickball is more than kicking a ball, it is an opportunity to overcome past failure!; Failure like the time I missed the frisbee 6 years ago; Failure like the time I missed tossing a paperball in the trash 6 hours ago; Failure like the time I mispelled the word misspelled 6 words ago. Now let’s kick some ball!”
Mark Destler and the Oldies but Goodies
My name is Mark Destler, and I am the Executive Director of Tutors for All. I have had the privilege of working with Boston-area kids for the better part of the last 25 years, and Boston youth for the last fifteen. I’ve been a special education paraprofessional, an English and reading teacher, a special education teacher, and a school administrator (dean, special education, title I).
Ten years ago, I started Tutors for All because I saw first-hand the power of 1-1 tutoring to transform the lives of Boston kids. Here are some of the things that our (mostly undergraduate) tutors and kids have accomplished over the past ten years. Here are some of the reasons our programs have been so successful. Many of you have played a role in their success to date. Thank you for your leadership in supporting them now.
I am a kickball legend, at least in my own mind. I remember (foggily, it was almost 40 years ago) running with a crew of four serious kickball-ers in first grade: Susan, Kristen, Jennifer, and myself. I remember (less foggily) flashing some serious skills on the diamond two years ago.
That being said, I’ve yet to win a K4A trophy. It’s about time!
Andy Stewart and the Test Takers (co-captained by Bryan Potts and Shane Magner)
Kate Farrell and the Tobin Tigers
My name is Kate and I am the captain for the Team Tobin Tigers this year! This is my first year working for Tutors for All as a Program Manager and participating in Kickball for All. I unfortunately do not have any sporty pictures of me to share, but hopefully some great ones will be captured on June 4th :)…but I would like to share what T4A means to me, as well as, the great American pastime of Kickball….I am a veteran ten year educator who has spent her career dedicated to serving students in under served communities. I witnessed first hand the brutal struggle of students who could not pass the Math MCAS and yet had completed their graduation requirements, so therefore having to come back until they could pass the test. When I applied for the position back in September I felt such gratitude that a program like this exists that supports teachers by helping students who might otherwise fall through the cracks in a large classroom, and prepare them to pass a test that could keep them from moving on to the next chapter of their life. After running two semesters now of tutoring services for T4A it is truly a wonderful feeling to be helping students fill the holes of their knowledge, increase their confidence, and have the skills needed to pass! I hope to be a part of the expansion of T4A to other Massachusetts cities where there are also students who are in the same battle!
As for kickball, my love for this great sport runs deep and back to my childhood. The dusty little league baseball diamond behind my elementary school became the arena of many great moments of glory and victory. No matter what skill level we had for some reason it seemed like everyone in my class could meet on that field and play some kickball. It would be competitive and yet fun. There would be serious intentions and yet a lot of laughter. And now as an adult playing kickball is like flying in a time machine back to my childhood, and I feel this may be true for many of us as this game seems to be the staple in the memories of many Americans and perhaps humans in generals.
Looking forward to playing with y’all on the 4th and hopefully holding one of those amazing trophies! Go Team Tobin Tigers!
Richard Wilson and #dabnation