I have frequently been asked to describe the Augusta Eagles basketball program. The text below also appears on our other blog, augustametros.blogspot.com. It describes the academic activities of the Augusta Metro Youth Foundation; the high school basketball teams I coach, the Augusta Eagles; and the ways that students can participate in both.
The Augusta Metro Youth Foundation has conducted academic and athletic programs in the Augusta, Georgia, area for over twenty years. The Foundation and its leaders and volunteers have funded, coached, and organized countless basketball teams (under the names of the Augusta Metros, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Augusta, and currently the Augusta Eagles). We have conducted numerous tutoring programs, and even funded and helped operate a private middle school during the 2003-2004 school year. Our most recent activities include the teaching of a high school Government and Economics course, the hosting of an online "Book Club," and the sponsorship of and coaching involvement with the Augusta Eagles high school and middle school basketball program.
Government and Economics Course
Bob Cook and I are teaching the Government and Economics course during the 2011-2012 school year on Mondays from 10AM to noon. Many of the students involved in this year's class participated in last year's American History course. In addition to the weekly lectures, the students will be reading from Economics and American Government textbooks, taking periodic quizzes, writing papers, and reading selected works related to current and historical events. We also maintain this website, www.augustametros.blogspot.com, which will be a valuable resource for students. Bob publishes daily posts (labelled "Daily Thoughts" on the site) that will be a useful tool for students eager to relate the fundamental lessons of the course to important world events.
Additionally, we have started a "Government and Economics" section on the site (easily found at the top of the home page). In this section, we encourage students to share their thoughts about what they are learning inside and outside the class about government and economics. I anticipate regularly sharing my thoughts about the subjects covered in the class in this section. Students are encouraged to write about topics covered in the textbook, during classroom discussions, in the suggested readings, and from current events that interest them; and they are welcome to give feedback and ask questions when confused.
The Government and Economics textbooks are available to all who are interested. Students and adults who are not currently enrolled, but are interested in participating "virtually," via this website can contact us (contact information is provided at the bottom of this page) to obtain the textbooks and further guidance.
There are no fees to participate in the Government and Economics course.
We have also recently started the Augusta Metros Learning Center Online Book Club. You will find a link to the posts discussing the literary and historical works on our reading list at the top of this site under the heading "Book Club." In addition to the online discussions, we are maintaining a physical library of books that will be discussed so Book Club members can access works that are not readily available online.
We are also putting together a Literature course centered around the Book Club's activities so interested students can satisfy their school Literature requirements in a low cost (free) and exciting way. But as is the case with the Government and Economics course, the Book Club's activities are open to all readers and learners.
Eagles Basketball - High School and Middle School
We currently sponsor the Augusta Eagles high school and middle school boys and girls basketball teams. I coach the boys varsity and junior varsity teams and I help organize the activities for all of the teams. Like the Augusta Metros AAU boys and men's basketball teams of the early to mid 1990's, which at one time or another included several eventual NBA, many professional, and numerous Division I, basketball players, the Augusta Eagles basketball program is a program unlike any other.
The team plays a national schedule, and, between the November to March period, travels to tournaments in Greenville, South Carolina; Greensboro, North Carolina; Jackson, Tennessee; and Lynchburg, Virginia. In addition to these tournaments, the Eagles play a diverse regular season schedule, including games against local public and private schools and against teams in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. During the five month season, Eagles varsity players will play more than 40 games, junior varsity players more than 25, and middle school players more than 15.
Eagles players are fully equipped with uniforms, shoes, and other gear and there are no participation fees. But students enrolled at traditional public or private high schools or middle schools cannot participate. The team is available to those students who have chosen what I call a "non traditional" education. Most of the current players have long been "home schooled," and they easily fit into this category. Some players have used the services provided by the Augusta Metro Youth Foundation to design an "Independent Study/Virtual School" curriculum that not only meets, but significantly exceeds, the standards and requirements established by most traditional schooling alternatives.
The Augusta Metros Learning Center works with students who wish to participate in the Augusta Eagles basketball program by devising a schooling curriculum that meets the needs of the student. Bob Cook and I have traditionally taught these students or provided for a teacher for certain subjects. The Government and Economics course and the Literature course, each described above, combine with the Math, Science, and Foreign Language capabilities available to provide a meaningful academic experience for middle school and high school Augusta Metro Learning Center students.
In addition to the schedule, the Eagles players have a unique opportunity to learn the game and become as good at the game as their enthusiasm and work ethic will allow. We offer the players a year around training and playing schedule that is designed to help the most eager players improve dramatically and have a great time in the process.
The six months beginning in October and ending in March are devoted to the "regular season" described above. The traveling, playing, and practicing, along with the demands of school, are certainly enough to keep the players busy and productive.
During April and May, we conduct workouts which include individual skill development and competitive, productive, and fun "pick up" games.
In June, our teams participate in a Summer League consisting of more than 20 games against the best high school teams in the area.
The players get back to working on their skills and playing informally in July. These workouts continue until the regular season begins again.
These "offseason" opportunities are optional and designed for the most enthusiastic players. Our players have taken full advantage and many are now able to be productive members of the best AAU basketball teams in the area, providing another outlet for individual Eagles looking to maximize their basketball experience during the "offseason."
Students and learners of all ages, and students wishing to take advantage of a unique basketball opportunity, can use the Augusta Metros Learning Center and the programs conducted by the Augusta Metro Youth Foundation. If you are interested in learning more, see my contact information below:
Augusta Metro Youth Foundation
706 550 2229