East Hartford ChildPlan | Improving the Quality of the lives of our Children and Families in East Hartford, (CT) Connecticut



The Goal Line Program was created in 2006 as a partnership between the East Hartford Middle School, Coach Randy Edsall of the UCONN football team and SBM Charitable Foundation. In its third year, East Hartford ChildPlan (ChildPlan) and East Hartford Youth Services Dept. (EHYS) were asked to join in the partnership to strengthen and grow the program.

For the first four years, student athletes from the UCONN football team spent six to nine (6-9) Monday's during the football season meeting with 40 at-risk male students at the EHMS for a 45-minute period. During this time, the students and athletes, along with ChildPlan and EHYS staff met for character education and mentoring sessions. The sessions were developed by the EHMS Physical Education Team and the EHYS Outreach Coordinator.

Afterwards, the students and athletes met after-school to play dodge ball and other activities until the late bus arrived. The EHMS students were also invited to attend at least one home football game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Students and chaperones were provided tickets from Coach Randy Edsall and the UCONN Athletic Department. They were also provided food coupons for each game by the SBM Charitable Foundation. The students also spent a day each spring at the UCONN Campus where they enjoyed a tour of the school, lunch with several players, and a meet and greet with Coach Edsall and Baylock.

Current Program

In 2011, the Goal Line Program expanded to include UCONN female athletes from all sports who helped mentor 22 at-risk female students from the Middle school. The program included 8 weeks of character education and mentoring sessions, as well as several trips for the students to watch their athlete mentors play sports at the UCONN Campus. The EHMS students were invited to a UCONN Basketball game at Gampel Pavilion where they were selected to say the pledge of alliance on the court to a sold out crowd. They also attended a UCONN Women's soccer game. As with the male Goal Line students, the female students also spend a day in the spring at the UCONN Campus.

Selections of students for the program are made by a panel of approximately 10 people including teachers, guidance counselors, and PE teachers. The criteria used to select the students included their academic record, behavior, attendance, teacher recommendations and grades.

Selections of reading materials are selected by the East Hartford Youth Services Outreach Coordinator, the EHMS Principal, and the PE teachers.

This successful program has provided at-risk students a chance to meet and get to know successful athletes, attend a UCONN sport games and tour one of the best Universities in New England.