Why I’m Excited to Head Back to School

By Kate Nilles

After graduating from college in Spring 2016, the “Back to School” season took on a different meaning for me. For the first time in my conscious memory, I wasn’t buying new pens and notebooks, finding out what teachers I would have for the semester or enjoying the last few days before my free time was redefined by homework and studying.

Instead, last fall’s “Back to School” season was filled with the anticipation of meeting the girls I would be coaching for the 2016–2017 school year in the Girls in the Game After School Program. The weeks leading up to the first day of school were spent meeting with school administrators to work out the details of our program, calling past participants, taking inventory of equipment and preparing curriculum.

School began, and shortly thereafter, Girls in the Game After School Program did too.

Just like the first day of school, our first day of After School was filled with learning names, playing games and finding what would work to make our team learn, grow and have fun together.
Coach Kate with her After School girls at Crown Elementary School

As this school year begins, and I transition into a new role at Girls in the Game, I am excited for all the new coaches and the hundreds of girls who will begin the journey of Girls in the Game After School Program. I know the “Back to School” or “Back to Program” nerves will inevitably turn in to a bittersweet “goodbye” at the end of a fun, challenging and productive school year. Girls will have tried new sports, made new friends, gained new leadership skills, accomplished earning “Athlete of the Day” and shared their program with friends and family all alongside their Girls in the Game coaches.

“Back to School” is a fresh start for teachers, students, coaches and teammates. So as girls across Chicago begin school in the next couple of weeks, our coaches at Girls in the Game are gearing up for a new After School Program year with energy, excitement and the same anticipation we all feel when we hear “Back to School”.

Kate Nilles is the Senior Flagship Coordinator at Girls in the Game.

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