No Benchwarmers Allowed

Academic Enrichment Grant

 2017-2018 Project Summary

Jeff Mann

Belzer Middle School • New Palestine, IN

No Benchwarmers Allowed is a unique, hands on literacy project that will connect middle school students’ love of sports to reading and writing. This project aims to create two key components that no middle school has ever offered: 1) create the first nationally available sports magazine written entirely by middle school students, and 2) create and offer the first middle school language arts class that will teach the traditional standards in a non-traditional and engaging way using sports literature and sports writing. No Benchwarmers Allowed is so named as this ‘studio class’ will be designed to be much more hands on than a traditional language arts class.

First and foremost, students will be planning, researching, creating, writing, advertising and interviewing among other skills in order to create a sports magazine. Students will also attend after school sessions, Skype with authors, participate in writing contests, and explore sports literature to enhance their learning. As part of the class students would be given multiple sports book to use in class and to add their personal library. Many of the students do not own any books at home. Sports literature and authors will be studied as students e create writing for the magazine. Students will also write sports book and movie reviews, interview athletes, attend sporting events, write opinion pieces about sports, and compete in sports writing contests. Ultimately, all of the middle school students will get to be “in the game” as they get to use their love of sports to make key contributions to the first ever sports magazine and sports literature class because in this project, there are no benchwarmers allowed.

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