LAS VEGAS – For the sixth consecutive year, USA Sevens Rugby and the Clark County School District (CCSD) partner for the annual USA SevensAdopt-A-Country program in an effort to build a curriculum of international education, tolerance and ambassadorship promoted through rugby’s culture of respect, fair play and teamwork. Sixteen CCSD elementary and middle schools “adopt” one of the teams participating in the 2016 USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament, March 4 – 6, at Sam Boyd Stadium to incorporate hands-on lessons and values designed around the school’s “adopted” country.
“Each year we do this program, we continue to think of new and exciting ways to expand the learning of international cultures through rugby into the CCSD curriculum,” said Rob Cornelius, United World Sports vice president of business development and Adopt-A-Country coordinator. “The program not only promotes physical activity and sportsmanship, but it fuels a curiosity to learn about different cultures around the world through a common passion, rugby.”
Throughout the 2015 – 2016 school year, each of the schools incorporates key aspects from the adopted country into the classroom curriculum to provide a first-hand education on international cultures, traditions, history, customs and geography. Leading up to the tournament, students will learn about the adopted nations with interactive lesson plans utilizing art, physical education, music and language.
In addition to the classroom and physical activities, each student is encouraged to learn more about the adopted country through a series of creative contests, including a T-shirt design contest and critical thinking essay competition. Each participating Clark County school will select one T-shirt that best captures the essence of the Adopt-A-Country program by connecting the school, the nation, rugby and Las Vegas. USA Sevens will select the top three submissions and create T-shirts for each student in the three schools from the winning design. The essay contest challenges students to connect on a personal level by comparing and contrasting their typical day with the typical day of someone their age in the adopted country. One winner from each school will be selected to represent the adopted nation and class in the 2016 USA Sevens Parade of Nations Ceremony on the Fremont Street Experience, which will be held Thursday, March 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
2015 – 2016 CCSD and Country Pairings:
· Lee Antonello Elementary School / Kenya
· Brown Junior High School / Wales
· Kay Carl Elementary School / Fiji
· Jack Dailey Elementary School / Scotland
· H.P. Fitzgerald Elementary School / Portugal
· Hayes Elementary School / Canada
· Zel & Mary Lowman Elementary School / Russia
· Nate Mack Elementary School / Samoa
· Harriet A. Treem Elementary School / Australia
· Monaco Middle School / France
· Paradise Professional Development School / England
· C.P. Squires Elementary School / Brazil
· Elise Wolff Elementary School / United States of America
· Leavitt Middle School / South Africa
· Rowe Elementary School / Argentina
Since the program began in 2011, more than 40,000 CCSD students have participated in the program, with more than 8,000 participating in the 2015 – 2016 school year.