Helping Students Learn the Joys of Basketball

Kids in School Rule! hosts a basketball clinic and tournament for students.

A teen helping a younger student work on his dribbling technique at the KISR! Basketball Clinic and Tournament.

Basketball is a sport that is enjoyed by millions across the globe, and for young kids in particular, it’s a great way to help them sharpen their hand-eye coordination, develop team-building skills and get plenty of exercise to boot! This engaging sport will serve as the foundation for the upcoming Kids in School Rule! (KISR!) Basketball Clinic and Tournament, a youth-focused event spearheaded by Activities Beyond the Classroom (ABC) in partnership with the KISR! program. This dynamic basketball camp is open to all Cincinnati Public School (CPS) students, but is primarily focused on engaging the students who are a part of the KISR! program, which is an initiative designed to improve educational outcomes and enrichment opportunities for students who are currently enrolled in foster care with the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (JFS).

Starting with the Basics

The KISR! Basketball Clinic and Tournament seeks to serve boys and girls who have not had equitable exposure to sports as their fellow classmates due to the challenges associated with foster care. According to Kyle Vismara, KISR! Enrichment Coordinator for ABC, the goal of the camp is “to get kids engaged in fun activities, and to educate them to the point that they are confident enough to pursue basketball or any other sport on their own.” All Cincinnati Public Schools students ages 5-18 are invited to participate in this free event, which will be held at the Withrow High School gym on April 7, 14 and 21. Students in grades 7th-12th will meet from 9-11 a.m. on April 7 and 14, and from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on April 21. While grades K-6th will meet from 12-2 p.m. April 7 and 14, and from 1-3 p.m. on April 21. During the camp, students will learn the fundamentals of basketball such as dribbling, passing and shooting, and they will have an opportunity to participate in drills that will emphasize learning the basics of playing the game. This camp will provide a fun and memorable experience for students who are in the novice stage of basketball, and ABC encourages students of all skill levels to attend in the spirit of camaraderie and cohesion among CPS students.

The basketball camp is designed to provide an enriching experience for kids who typically do not get many opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities. This collaboration between ABC, KISR! and Cincinnati Public Schools will not only provide an outlet for children to have fun and gain a new set of athletic skills, but it also carries the longer-term goal of improving school stability and boosting educational outcomes for children who are in the custody of JFS, or are under the protective supervision of JFS.

Get Involved

All hands need to be on deck in order for the KISR! Basketball Clinic and Tournament to achieve its goals. The program has a need for volunteers and coaches, specifically to help manage the various activities and drill stations that are a part of the camp. As you can imagine, trying to corral a large group of kids can be challenging at times, especially in a wide open space such as a gym! A background knowledge of basketball is preferred (especially if you’re volunteering to be a coach), and you should also be comfortable with leading drill stations. Teenagers will be allowed to volunteer to help with the K-6th grade sessions, but at this time we are not looking to have teen volunteers for the 7th-12th¬†grade sessions.

Activities Beyond the Classroom is excited to offer this free event to the students of the Cincinnati Public School community. If you would like to help these precious students experience the joys of playing basketball, or would like to register a student to participate in the event, please contact Kyle Vismara at to learn more. You never know how your involvement can make a permanent positive impact on a student’s life.

Click here, for the KISR! Basketball Clinic and Tournament flyer and registration form!