August 1, 2015
Urban Squashers Attend Academic Programs at Taft and Exeter
This summer, The Taft School, a boarding school in Watertown, CT, welcomed middle school urban squash students to its five-week summer program. The Taft partnership was modeled after NUSEA’s partnership with Exeter Summer School, which for the third year in a row provided scholarships to 10 urban squash students to attend its five-week summer school. The partnership with Taft was spearheaded by Drummond Bell, a Taft trustee and NUSEA director, with additional support from Taft graduate Chris Olsen. The partnership with Exeter was funded by several dozen Exeter alumni.
Students in both programs took four classes, played squash, and benefited from living in Taft and Exeter’s dormitories. Students at Exeter’s 780-student summer program, boasted that hall-mates came from as far as Germany, Greece, Argentina, and China. Leaving Taft with all A’s, Duane from SquashSmarts reported that “the teachers made us take responsibility for our work and behavior each day – like waking up on time and eating a good breakfast. They taught us the small things are important to becoming the best possible student.”
The Taft and Exeter classrooms changed our students’ conception of classroom learning. Students discussed academic topics in small classroom seminars. Course subject matter ranged from Virginia Woolf books to robotics. Learning also extended beyond the classroom as students went on weekend trips to local cultural and historical sites.