BALTIMORE - Students at Kipp Ujima Village Academy in Northwest Baltimore hit the field for a game of Lacrosse. It's the first middle school girls lacrosse team for city students.
The girls are working on a few drills.
"The climate of the school has been affected. They are not experiencing truancy and their behavior is improving. Academics are improving so we are very pleased to see what started here at Kipp Academy," said Monica Logan, Director of Youth Programs with the Parks and People Foundation.
The Parks and People Foundation along with STX teamed up with Baltimore City Public Schools for the new Lacrosse League. Research shows after school sports offers exercise, improves self esteem and promotes leadership and teamwork.
It also offers a positive alternative to crime, drugs and gangs for inner city girls.
"I think its a good idea because it brings us all together. It's fun and we all know each other. We are all friends so it makes it even more fun," said Kelis Young, lacrosse player.
The new program not only helps the girls, but it's a good community partnership. STX presented the girls middle school league with new lacrosse equipment.
"Girls that are doing physical activity are more likely to have good attendance and do better in school and get an education so whatever we can do to have girls the sport and be successful in school is a good thing," said Monica Tucker, STX Marketing Manager.
Four Baltimore City Public Schools with 60 girls are involved in the Lacrosse League. They range in age from 11 to 14-years-old.
The girls admit learning a new skill is challenging, but they enjoy the game.
"It's teamwork because all of us working together plus we are friends and it makes things fun," said Kahla Young, Lacrosse player.
The girls practice several times a week after school. Students recently had their first game. The championship game will be held on May 23rd.
The other Baltimore City Schools participating in the Lacrosse League include: Northeast Middle, Francis Scott Key and Booker T Washington.