Importance of athletics in school

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Importance of athletics in school

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Athletics are important for a variety of reasons in our schools, and they are important if they are used appropriately, they are disaster if they are not. As we see in our culture, there are lot of bad things coming out of it of athletics as well as the potential good things. The potential good things are that for many students its a source of joy, it's a source of fun. It's play. Education at it's best should be play not only for little kids but for older kids. I love sports throughout my whole life, accept for one brief experience in college which where i tried to play college football and just couldn't do it. It was a disaster, but up to that point, it was fun. It was a game. When we start teaching and coaching students to think that its something other than a game. That it's life itself. And that winning is the only thing, then i think we do dis-service to the kid, we put kids under tremendous pressure and we rob them of what it should be, which is a joyful experience.

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Paul Cummins, PhD

Educator & Author

Dr. Paul Cummins, President and CEO of Coalition for Engaged Education (CEE), received his bachelor of arts from Stanford University, his MAT from Harvard, and his doctorate from the University of Southern California.  In 1971, he co-founded Crossroads School in Santa Monica and built it into one of Los Angeles’s most successful educational institutions and a national model for innovative, independent schools. 

In 1995, Cummins stepped down as Headmaster of Crossroads and formed New Visions Foundation (now Coalition for Engaged Education) to offer opportunities for Engaged Education to all youth. The first venture was New Roads School, a diverse, K-12 independent school in Santa Monica that has a deep commitment to social justice. New Roads devotes 40% of its tuition budget to need-based student financial aid, guaranteeing access to students from a wide socioeconomic array. Cummins has since implemented a number of innovative programs to help children at risk.

Cummins has published four books on education, including Proceed With Passion: Engaging Students in Meaningful Education (2004), and Two Americas, Two Educations: Funding Quality Schools for all Students (2007), both published by Red Hen Press. His most recent book of essays, Why Poetry? Reflections on Poetry, Writing and Culture, was published in 2009 by Xlibris, in addition to two volumes of his poetry and two children's books published in recent years. He is currently finishing Confessions of a Headmaster: My Pursuit of Joy and Justice in Education (forthcoming from Red Hen Press).

Cummins and his wife Mary Ann reside in Santa Monica. They have four daughters and five grandchildren.

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