|Soccer players love to read, too!|
Soccer Story Time
Welcome & Introduction
I welcomed everyone to our event and reminded everyone about the summer reading program. Plenty of kids were already signed up for summer reading, and a handful had seen the Lions at our summer reading kickoff event earlier this month. Then it was go time.
Story: For the Love of Soccer! by Pelé, illustrated by Frank Morrison
This story, and its illustrations, share a soccer tale that many kids can relate to. We see Pelé as both a young soccer enthusiast and as a professional player, enjoying everything about the game the entire time. The message that playing for the love of the game--as opposed to a love of winning--is a good way to conclude, too.
We started with a chance for the kids to ask our four attending soccer players questions: about when they started playing, how much they practice, etc. After the questions had been answered, the players demonstrated a few trick moves for the crowd before breaking the children into groups for some basic soccer skills practice. The youngest in the crowd worked on kicking, older kids did dribbling and other moves. Then, we concluded soccer time with a good old-fashioned shoot-out. The professionals were the goalkeepers and the kids tried to kick goals. My, were they having fun.
I had a simple soccer ball craft set out on tables at the back of the room to help keep folks interested as they waited their turns for autographs and photo ops. The craft used a hexagon template I created, which allowed kids to color in the hexes, cut them out, and glue them on a coffee filter. Ta-da! 2-D soccer ball.
Everyone had a great time at this program, with many of the attendees psyched to go see a St. Louis Lions game this summer. I think World Cup fever helped the interest level, too, as well as the general ubiquity of kids in soccer around these parts. All things considered, this was a straightforward and enjoyable way to tap another aspect of the community for a library program.