Wilmington University participants of its immersive Year-Long Residency Program (YLR) at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford are positively impacting students.
Julio Gonzalez, a YLR participant, started a boys’ after-school soccer club, inspired by his fellow WilmU YLR Abigail Porter, a coach for the Girls on the Run Club at Douglass. The boys wondered why they did not have a club like the girls, so Gonzalez took the idea to the school administration, who agreed to start the soccer group, says Laura Burke, YLR supervisor. Several school staff members volunteered to help get the ball rolling.
Douglass was named a National Blue Ribbon Elementary School in 2020 and serves grades 3-5. Porter, a third-grade student teacher, and Monika Kittell, a mentor teacher, also organized the Girls on the Run 5K, a race sponsored by the club.
In addition to serving as a running coach, Porter assists with the club’s after-school program, which promotes self-esteem and positive health and wellness practices for young girls.