One of the activities in the 21st Century programs that operate in the William S. Greene, the Watson, and the John J. Doran Elementary Schools is a Futsal Academy run by instructor Bill Sampaio. Futsal (derived from a combination of the Portuguese "futebol" and "salão" or indoor arena), which originated in the 1930s in Uruguay as a way of making soccer more available to youth as it could be played year around in indoor settings such as YMCAs. The Futsal Academy teaches the basics of the game, which is played with five-member teams and a smaller ball than soccer.  Each session begins with a half hour of assistance with homework. The Academy then incorporates math and language learning as part of the program in the school gymnasium. Futsal is now part of the FitMath program, the goal of which is to use aerobics and fitness as a means to support a better understanding of mathematical vocabulary and concepts. The integration of the mathematics content with physical activities can help students actualize the mathematics and at the same time promote health and fitness. The goal is for participants to gain confidence in their physical abilities as well as increase their familiarity with terminology in the fields of mathematics, anatomy, and physiology. A Futsal program for older youth is offered at Durfee and Bishop Connolly High Schools as part of the New England Futsal Academy in which Mr. Sampaio is very active. Click here for photos of other 21st Century instructors at a recent gathering. For more information, contact Bill Sampaio at 774-526-3209.

(Top row, left) Bill Sampaio works with fourth-grader Ariana Gonzalez as she does her homework during the first half hour of the two-hour session. (Top row, center) Rhode Island College student and Futsal instructor Tucker Shepard works with Jamy Cisneros. (Top row, right) Futsal instructor Tom Murray watches as third-grader Roxanna Bermol works on her homework with another student. (Middle row) Mr. Sampaio coaches the students to run through a series of exercises in moving the ball interspersed with lots of heart-healthy running. Students average over 12,000 steps in each 90-minute practice session. (Bottom row) Mr. Sampaio challenges the students to form groups of different sizes to illustrate triangles, squares, hexagons, and octagons as part of the training. He also has students count off in English, Portuguese, and Khmer to help everyone to feel comfortable with students of different ethnic backgrounds.

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