(NYC Trend) — An innovative after-school program called Hit the Books, is combining martial arts with education. Started in 2017, Hit the Books’ mission was to bring more educational resources to the Harlem community.
Their approach is sports-based development, which relies heavily on mentorship and coaching. With martial arts in the spotlight of this program, children of the community are drawn to it. However, what they are getting is much more than just a lesson in kicking and breaking boards.
The program is designed to help children progress outside of the classroom in physical, mental, and emotional ways in order for them to meet their greatest potential. Children that participate will be exposed to educational and professional opportunities they would not have been exposed to otherwise. Although their main focus is on educating children in impoverished communities and giving them opportunities, Hit the Books also hopes to make all the children feel safe and secure, creating a community that feels like a second-home and sanctuary to them.
There are three services offered through Hit the Books and children have access to all three while attending this after-school program.
The first is its educational services, which is basically a tutoring program used to help support each student’s individual classroom agendas. This part of the program utilizes qualified and loving tutors from the New York community. Hit the Books plans to create partnerships with non-profits and universities to find tutors fit for this specific role.
The second service is mentorship. This mentorship is informal and done in a gym setting to help students emotionally and mentally. Once the students graduate from the program, they will be welcomed back as mentors for younger children.
The third service of the program is martial arts training, which Hit the Books describes as their “hook.” This service will be open seven days a week to all students in the program. The program will not focus on fighting and defense, but rather technical instruction and physical and mental development.
Who Can Get Involved?
The Hit the Books program is designed for children 7-12 years old living in the Harlem community of New York.
Older people are encouraged to volunteer or make donations. You can do so here.