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Blackhawks Donate Floor Hockey Equipment, Host Clinic for New CPS Program

By Serena Dai | November 18, 2013 3:29pm
 Chicago Blackhawks donated floor hockey equipment to 30 Chicago Public Schools, including Agassiz Elementary in Lakeview.
Blackhawks Donate to Agassiz
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LAKEVIEW — Chicago Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk was cheered and hugged at Agassiz Elementary Monday after his team gave floor hockey equipment to the school to help kids stay in shape.

The equipment was put to immediate use, as some of the 50 fourth-graders at the presentation ran, jumped and whacked hockey sticks in a clinic run by Blackhawks employees.

"Every day is a great day for hockey," quipped U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), a big hockey fan who played goalie in a pickup game of floor hockey Monday.

Agassiz is one of 30 Chicago Public Schools across the city that received the donation of floor hockey equipment from the Hawks. All the receiving schools are part of the 30-20-10 pilot program, where students must participate in some sort of physical activity for a total of an hour each day. 

The donation was announced Monday by Quigley, CPS boss Barbara Byrd-Bennett, 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney, Blackhawks President John McDonough and Blackhawks Hall of Famer Denis Savard in the Agassiz Elementary auditorium, 2851 N. Seminary Ave.

At Agassiz, the 30-20-10 program means each day, students have a 20-minute recess, a 30-minute physical education or dance class and 10 minutes of activity in the classroom each day, such as a jumping jacks, musical chairs or charades, said Principal Mira Weber.

Last year, students only had physical education or dance one time a week each — which is the case at the vast majority of CPS schools.

"It's great," Weber said of the change. "Kids love it. They love being able to move. The teachers notice a difference in their ability to focus."

The floor hockey equipment will be used in physical education classes. Beyond integrating physical activity in the school day, floor hockey will help build a sense of teamwork, focus and perseverence, Byrd-Bennett said.

McDonough joked that the Hawks now have drafting rights to all attendees.

"This is where it happens," he said. "This is where it all starts."

All 30-20-10 schools also will receive a floor hockey clinic in addition to the equipment, CPS said. Other pilot schools include Armour Elementary in Bridgeport, Belmont-Cragin Elementary, Henry School in Albany Park, Prescott Elementary in Lincoln Park and South Shore Fine Arts Academy.