• The document below was sent to Pittsburgh Public Schools in December 2014 for Summer 2015 programs.
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Cover page 1 of 3:

Proposals for 2015 Pittsburgh Public Schools' Summer Dreamers Academy from Mark Rauterkus with the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation

Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, BGC, Richard Swartz, Executive Director, 149 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 412-441-6950 x11,Cell = 412-961-2824.

Mark Rauterkus, Executive Head Coach,, 412-298-3432

* Activity: Swim & Water Polo

* Desired # of Camper: 240

* Block Type: Double

* Sites: All 3 SDA sites in combination on-site & off-site

** Faison with swimming at Citiparks Homewood Pool
** Langley with swimming at Langley, PCA, and Citiparks Sheridan Pool
** South Hills/Brashear with swimming at Brashear's pool.

* Grades: Third grade and older. Fourty from Langley should be in grades 6 and above.

* Total Costs: $72,000

* Proposal Cost per 75-minute Block: $150 per camper per 75-minute block, $300 total.

* Blurb:

In Swim & Water Polo you learn and improve a lifelong, lifesaving skill – swimming. Passing the deep water test is just part of our fun. We run, exercise and get fit. We race in the pool and in Downtown's Liberty Mile road race. Play offense and defense in water polo and SKWIM. These recreation activities include mindful lessons, team play and strategies that stress sportsmanship.

Cover page 2 of 3:

Proposals for 2015 Pittsburgh Public Schools' Summer Dreamers Academy from Mark Rauterkus with the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation

Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, BGC, Richard Swartz, Executive Director, 149 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 412-441-6950 x11,Cell = 412-961-2824.

Mark Rauterkus, Executive Head Coach,, 412-298-3432

* Activity: Triathlon & Water Polo

* Desired # of Campers: 25

* Block Type: Double

* Sites: Faison with activities happening to, from and at PPS Westinghouse

* Grades: Older students desired. Grades 7, 6, 5 are best.

* Total Costs: $7,500

* Proposal Cost per 75-minute Block: $150 per 75 minute block, $300 total per camper

* Blurb:

New in 2015, Triathlon '&' Water Polo is for serious athletes, those who already can swim and middle school students that have a willingness to train. Triathletes swim, bike and run. We'll do monster workouts. Plus, we all run from Faison to Westinghouse and back – every day. Swim session include strenuous water polo workouts at Westinghouse. Devote yourself to being strong. Compete and challenge yourself on a team. Proven swim ability required for enrollment in Triathlon & Water Polo. Call Coach Mark, 412-298-3432, for preseason conditioning, and check out “iCAN Junior Triathlete Club Outreach Program” on YouTube.

Cover page 3 of 3:

Proposals for 2015 Pittsburgh Public Schools' Summer Dreamers Academy from Mark Rauterkus with the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation

Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, BGC, Richard Swartz, Executive Director, 149 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 412-441-6950 x11,Cell = 412-961-2824.

Mark Rauterkus, Executive Head Coach,, 412-298-3432

* Activity: Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedia

* Desired # of Campers: 40

* Block Type: Single

* Sites: 1 SDA sites as an On-Site Activity.

** Any SDA site is fine. Faison might be best.

* Grades: Third grade and older.

* Total Costs: $6,000

* Proposal Cost per 75-minute Block: $150 per camper per 75-minute block.

* Blurb:

In Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedi'a' class, we strive to better understand the brain, our bodies and psychology. The mind leads, and the body follows. Learn about yoga, nutrition and better health while documenting our wellness improvements with Android Tablets and wiki pages. Pro athletes and NAVY Seals master these skills too.

+ + + Cover Letter + + +

Dear PPS Summer Dreamers Administrators and RFP Review Committee:

Please accept this proposal for BGC activities; Swim & Water Polo, plus the new offerings of Triathlon & Water Polo, and Mindful Eating, Yoga and Multimedia. Thank you for this opportunity to join with Pittsburgh Public Schools in this wonderful effort to give elementary and middle school students the opportunity to participate in fun experiences over the summer that tie back to their academic instruction and develop potentially life-long interests.

We've been working with the district since 2010 Summer Dreamers. The BGC could not be more exited by the district’s ongoing efforts to coordinate the wonderful work of its community partners with the district’s academic agenda. We believe strongly that our children, particularly our lower income and African-American children, need to have coordinated academic and extracurricular activities. They shouldn’t have to choose between the additional academic supports they desperately need and the fun, enrichment activities that expose them to new opportunities and interests.

Coach Rauterkus and the nonprofit community have continued to learn about effective program delivery from experience in past years. We are prepared to be a strong partner to the district this summer. The program leadership has individuals with long histories of successful delivery of services in their particular area of expertise. We are excited about the Swim & Water Polo program and the possibilities it will open up for elementary and middle school children.

We have seen how positively children respond to swim and fitness instruction. The overall goals of the program include teaching all of the campers to swim in deep water and to adopt swimming as a lifelong positive habit, to learn the rules of Water Polo, to build team work skills and fitness, and, maybe most importantly, to have fun this summer. We certainly hope that more students will join swim teams and clubs. Given all of the health benefits of swimming and the general benefits of team sports, however, we would be equally satisfied to simply see young people expand their comfort in the water and make swim and water sports a true part of their regular exercise and recreation agenda.

So, again, thank you, Superintendent Lane and the School Board, for your leadership in this wonderful effort to combine the strengths of the Pittsburgh Public Schools with those of your community and faith partners to ensure that our elementary and middle school children have these life changing summer opportunities.

In summary, the plans call for serving 200 to 300 students, both middle and elementary grades, boys and girls, in double-blocks. A network of pools and spaces are required, mostly PPS buildings. Swim & Water Polo can be a part of every SDA school in 2015, as it was in 2013 and 2014. The new 2015 addition is a single-block mindful eating class at one site.

We'd love to see every camper from grades 3 to 9 given the option of Swim & Water Polo.

We are excited that every SDA site has or is near to PPS school with a swim pool. We missed going to Brashear and PCA in 2014, but have both in this proposal for 2015. With PPS and City support, thousands of kids could learn to swim and be aquatic athletes in Pittsburgh every year.

Drowning remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury and death in children ages 1 to 19 years. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reported that 62% of African-Americans are less likely to know how to swim than others. Fear also plays an important role. A Gallup study indicated that about two-thirds of Americans are afraid of deep, open bodies of water like lakes, rivers, or the ocean and 46% are afraid of the deep end of a pool. African- American children between 5-19 years old are six times more likely to drown in a swimming pool than their peers.

The Alliance for Safe Children and UNICEF’s Office of Research reported that nearly all drowning-induced deaths are preventable. Instead of allowing this problem to languish unaddressed, governments should mobilize support for demonstrably effective and low-cost prevention strategies. The report emphasized the long-term value of teaching swimming to children over the age of 4. One program in Bangladesh reduced drowning rates by 90 percent. Gordon Alexander, director of UNICEF’s Office of Research, said that “affordable interventions” could “save hundreds of thousands of children’s lives.” The data are clear and the solutions straightforward. It is time to address what Mr. Alexander correctly termed a “hidden killer.”

If you need additional information, please contact me by phone.


Richard Swartz, Executive Director
Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation


The BGC seeks to serve up to 305 students at 3 sites. The majority, 87%, do water polo in double-block periods. Students in grades 3 to 7, or even grade 9, work well. Both boys and girls participate since swimming, running and life are co-ed. Squads of up to 25 campers are built at each site.

* New in 2015, one squad at Camp Faison trains exclusively at Westinghouse High School and does Triathlon & Water Polo (rather than Swim & Water Polo). Difference: Training intensity, proven swimming abilities. Digital Badge for enrollment acceptance begins.

* New in 2015, Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedia at one site as a single block activity with 2 x 20 student limit. This activity is proposed for blocks 3 and 4 with a total of 40 students.

SDA School Site

Title of Activity

Student ages

(not K, 1, 2)

Max Students #


Pool & Facilities


Swim & Water Polo**

Any age



Langley & Citiparks' Sheridan


Swim & Water Polo***





South Hills/Brashear

Swim & Water Polo**






Swim & Water Polo**




Citiparks Homewood


Triathlon & Water Polo***





One of the above sites: (prefer Faison)

Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedia*




Classroom & School's Outdoor Playground




One of the above sites = PPS can decide site. Could be at Faison, Langley or Brashear. Pick one.
* Single block activity. The Mindful Eating class is one block and with no swimming.
** Double block activity. All water polo is double block and includes swimming, fitness, etc.
*** Double block activity for older students due to distances to be run/walked.


'Swim & Water Polo, 'Triathlon & Water Polo, and Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedia are facilitated by a PPS Varsity Swim Coach, Mark Rauterkus, the Executive Coach for the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation.

'Swim & 'Water Polo continues to be a huge success with campers and coaches for the past five summers. On the first day, you do not need to know how to swim, dive, jog and play our competitive aquatic games. Everyone tries and can swim in the pool's deep end soon enough, getting new skills, fitness and friends. Repeat campers are encouraged to sign up to captain their squads, lead the way and earn badges (new in 2015). All do group runs, barefoot biathlon, and the Liberty Mile Road Race.

Swim & Water Polo has been a popular, productive and efficient activity at every Summer Dreamers. Our activity has been a part of every school site for the past two years and handled nearly 200 students at 12 pools around the city with as many as 35 staff members. Students learn to swim, be on teams, follow coaches instructions. We trained for and ran the 2014 Liberty Mile, our 3rd year, with 100 participants and every Dreamer received a new pair of running shoes for free, again.

This year's program is expected to be better than ever since all school sites are with or near indoor swim pools. No bussing to get to the pools. Plus, six big enhancements are being crafted for the 2015 experience, beyond the traditional fun and instruction always delivered.
1) Literacy efforts are going to unfold with the aid of Android Tablets.
2) Mindfulness lessons are going to be scripted into the daily routines for every participant.
3) One squad gets more robust training with the start of Triathlon & Water Polo.
4) A new single-block activity, Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedia) begins.
5) The A for Athlete ebook better guides and informs students, families, coaches and PPS teachers on the mission and outcomes of the athletic and academic efforts.
6) Digital Badges are coming!

Prior achievements and strengths to repeat: Newsprint newsletter, robo phone calls from the coach, snail mail race info to homes, Attendance App on staff smart phones, Liberty Mile participation, Expert Running Coaches, Presentations from Olympians and World Class Runners, SKWIM play, Game Days between squads, Barefoot Biathlons, last-day slide shows, pizza picnic, freeze pops, trophy winners, t-shirts, swim caps, certificates for MVPs and deep water swimmers.

Considering 2014, we need better classroom space, internet access, and computer use. In 2013, wifi hot spots were purchased. In 2014, wifi was provided from PPS. Sadly, ZZ Trouble never opened our wiki pages so A for Athlete regressed to paper and pencils. A crowd funded Kickstarter slated for early 2015 is expected. Then Android Tablets and independent hot-spots can be obtained. Hiring an “Attendance Coach” didn't work out in past. The skills for using the attendance app need to be in place on day 1 with all employees, even PPS folks. By week 2, the BGC coaches got up to speed, but 90% of the PPS teachers never cared to try our system for attendance tracking.

Describe in detail what campers will learn and do in your activity. What is the vision for the program and what are the goals?

Swim & Water Polo gives students opportunities to make great strides in fitness and

swimming proficiency through aquatic sport. With daily practices, every camper can become more than one who can swim, but rather become a “true swimmer” and an “aquatic athlete.”

By the end of Swim and Water Polo Camp, students will be able to:

● Swim in deep water and understand all of the strokes involved in competitive swimming.

● Respect and understand aquatic safety.

● Learn about the greater swimming world from Olympics to local competitions, teams, and swim opportunities.

● Document and set personal swim goals including distance swim results, record time, and polo performance.

● Participate in competitive experiences (swimming, running or fitness and team water polo play) with coaches and teammates.

● Run continuously for 10 minutes and understand running wellness. Coaches lead students through an educational aquatic experience that takes campers from basic swim lessons, drills, practices, and team sport workouts to competitions, i.e., water polo games, swim races, run races, biathlons.

At the end of the class of Mindful Eating, Yoga and Multimedia, students can do some yoga on their own and have a large tool box for dealing with stress and frustrations. They can better monitor their physical reactions by being more aware. Students also have sampled and come to understand some interesting food and nutrition facts and tastes. Finally, students can learn where to find out more information for later self-exploration on mind and brain topics.

Describe in detail how campers will be engaged and excited throughout camp. How will it be interesting for the campers? What are 2-3 ways you will motivate campers?

New Engaging Recreation Experience: We recognize that there are many youth who do not have the opportunity to experience water sports and quality swim instruction. For many of our students, this camp is a fun, new experience. Our instructors keep kids motivated to continue to push their limits and reach new goals in running, swimming and water polo ability. As students learn to trust the instructors, marked improvements happen on a daily basis with everyone.

Highly Interactive Learning: Running, swimming and water polo are 100% hands on physical activities. Youth are consistently engaging with their instructors in an interactive learning environment. Positive peer pressure encourages breakthroughs in performances. Classes develop into real teams.

Competition: Our young people are motivated by competition. Water Polo is competitive and every player on the team matters. We fully expect, as with past water polo sessions, that the 2014 campers will continue to be excited. The opportunity to compete as teams against others in practice, follow rules, and substitute in-and-out is fun. Then, to play hard against other teams from other classes and even from around the city and region has proven to be most successful with our kids. Running the Liberty Mile on Liberty Avenue, downtown, with thousands, including professionals, with prize money, race chips, bib numbers, tech shirts and posted results serves as the culminating event.

Building confidence: Ultimately we believe that this camp experience builds confidence of our campers as they continue to increase their swimming skills and fitness. The new found sense of comfort in the water and/or the yoga mat transfers to other important moments for the individuals. Mastery soars with a relaxed body. Throughout the process of swimming and running mastery, kids understand calm confidence. This aids in test taking situations.

Describe how campers will highlight their accomplishments through a culminating project, demonstration or presentation. What deliverables will the campers produce at the end of the camp?

We understand that campers will be joining at various skill and fitness levels. We are prepared to work with each student so that by the end of camp campers will:

● Have documented record of their progress in exercise or swim and in water polo.

● Post videos of yoga, swimming and water polo activities that campers and their families can view and keep.

● Participate in end of summer polo tournament.

● Participate in end of summer swimming and yoga demonstrations.

● Demonstrate vast improvement in their ability to swim or do yoga, as evidenced by a series of swimming tests and badges throughout the length of the program.

● Understand and demonstrate the rules and skills of water polo or yoga.

● Participate in time trials and a biathlon race.

● Be encouraged to continue to participate in local water polo activity beyond the life of the Summer Dreamers camp and visit other area swim pools.

● Get a shirt and have an opportunity to run in the Liberty Mile road race.

What are 2-3 ways you will communicate with parents/guardians both before and during camp? In past summers, we have not had trouble maintaining regular participation in the Swim & Water Polo Camp. Capacity enhancements in 2013 included the use of physical space, expert leaders and technology. Both the agency sponsor and the executive head coach are devoted to parent engagement year-round.

In 2013 our Swim & Water Polo Newsletter came as an 8 page supplement to the South Pittsburgh Reporter and was available from the first day. Calendar, rules, race insights, literacy draft letters and bios on various leaders were presented and kids took those home on multiple instances in the summer. In 2014, we hope to do a similar but expanded PR push with community newsletters in Bloomfield and South Pittsburgh Reporter again.

Our plans builds upon the existing relationships among community members with the BGC as well as with head swim coach. We communicate with families and even other pool patrons and taxpayers.

● BGC on Penn Ave. - The building hosts community gatherings with parents, campers and boosters. Plus the YMCA in a different neighborhood can host community gatherings with parents and students.

We will get everyone together in fun settings and launch activities before July 1. New in 2014. PPS settings, especially in the final weeks of the regular school year, can be avoided with agency hosted events.

● Some launch events are slated for the Thelma Lovette YMCA as it is hoping to have a swim and water polo team meet there throughout the year.

● Individual Phone Calls - The head coach and squad coaches coordinate with the staff and parents with individual ongoing calls to parents and students to generate excitement.

● Auto Calls- Throughout the summer, auto-bot calls are placed from the coach to parents and students too. Plus, inbound messages can be delivered with these calls seeking input. Example: “After the beep, tell us your son or daughters name and his or her t-shirt and sneaker size.” New in 2013 and will be in place in 2014 as well.

● Open Environment– Parents know that they are welcome and encouraged to stop by the facilities at any time to observe the program activities and to see how their child is performing.

● Electronic Clip-boards – High tech, custom, mobile, robust, secure, software has been developed for staff and camper use. Time and place stamps refresh the participant records in a database so that real-time data can be communicated to parents phones and email accounts. Began in 2012. Parts are new in 2013. In 2014 all staff grew to use these tools. In 2015, PPS staff can come along too and we'll make the photos of each student on the first day.

In what ways is this opportunity unique, creative, and interesting? In what ways is this activity unique and creative? How will it be interesting for the campers being targeted?

Few communities have full-fledged water polo or triathlon programs in Pennsylvania. Water polo is, traditionally a sport to which many individuals have limited access. Same too with yoga. This is increasingly true among lower income, African American students. There is a perception that water polo is not available within lower income communities and that it is a sport dominated by the elite.

This summer camp experience builds young people’s interest in running, yoga and swimming and introduces them to a fun team based sport that they CAN continue to participate in long after the summer. The skills learned in this camp opens the door to a world of new and exciting fitness.

Outcome Goals

Swimming is an amazingly healthy and productive activity. We fully expect that all campers will be good swimmers by the end of camp. This encourages, at a minimum, ongoing participation at their schools and neighborhood pools. For those who enjoy yoga, running, swimming and water polo, there are many opportunities to continue to pursue, including:

● Middle school and high school cross-country and swim teams. A number of Swim & Water Polo Campers, and volunteer aids and assistant coaches are PPS varsity athletes and swimmers. Some went to matches in Ohio. Westinghouse has its first swim team in 2012-13 in more than a decade with Dreamers in their ranks. Competitive swimmers at Uprep exist where there had been none.

● Community water polo teams.

● Area club swim teams, such as the Sarah Heinz House, JCC Sailfish, Kingsle y Stingrays, Team Pitt or others just outside the city such as Woodland Hills, Keystone Oaks, Carlynton, Shaler.

● Gaining a lifeguard certification and seeking employment. The 2015 campers might become 2017 SDA coaches.

The transferable skills learned in swimming such as persistence, hard work, fitness, listening, and teamwork are all relevant to other aspects of life. There are a number of lessons that have a positive impact on the campers as they continue their scholastic and professional careers.


Safety emphasis comes in week 1 and 2.

+ Coaches expectations, pool rules, behavior comes every day.
++ The lessons from the DVD are put into the mix on week 2.

One chunk comes in the opening of the session. One comes in the break for afternoons or else at the end for mornings.

Social Skills emphasis comes in weeks 3, 4 and 5.

Review on skills comes in week 5 by going over the Swimming Skills information in the Swimming Complete DVD


Competitive Swimming emphasis by week: 

Week 1, Freestyle, streamlines, spinning from front to side to back and staying on side for breath and recovery. Breath holding swimming and kicking. 

Week 2, Breastroke, kicking, jumping, treading 

Week 3, Backstroke, diving, starts 

Week 4, Butterfly, turns, Distance per stroke 

Week 5, Individual Medley, distance swimming, aerobic threshold 


Water polo emphasis by week: 

Week 1: Rules, ball handling, shooting, intro to goalie play 

Week 2: Egg beater kicking, body positions, umbrella formation, hole play, ball side defense, 

Week 3: Counter attacks, square out, v-back, drivers 

Week 4: Player advantage (man-up and man-down), sloughing, 

Week 5: Match-ups, turning your player, trick shots. 


Exercise emphasis by week: 

Week 1: Press ups Full range of motion, arm swing routine, ballistic stretching, medicine balls, twisting, giant steps. 

Week 2: Static stretching, yoga stretching, partner kicking, jousting 

Week 3: Abs, core, rings, creeping, vertical kicking, tucking 

Week 4: Underwater kicking on back, fin kicking, 

Week 5: Planks, wall sits.

Swim & Water Polo Camp, 180 minute Sample Lesson Plan

The students will be able to:

  • Define what's expected of them each class.

  • How to respect the water, each other and the coaches.

  • How to control base position (eggbeater).

  • How to pass.

  • How to control the ball.

Students will prove their skills by:

  • Showing responsibility in their words and actions in the water.

  • Performing the base position in practice.

  • Performing their passing skills in practice.

  • Controlling the ball while passing in practice.

V.  Activities


Students will...

Teacher will...


15 min

Attendance, check in. Introduce students to locker room. Students change into their swim suits, shorts, sneakers. Be introduced to the coaches. Easy arm and leg swings. Learn other players names.

Greet students upon entering, introduce students to space and coaches, take individual photo.


35 min

Fitness Lesson/ Fitness Workout. Be introduced to the importance of fitness. Talk of pace. Light jog to their off site program area, following leaders.

Facilitate, introduce rules for workout, and familiarize students with route. Learn 5 new names.


10 min

Be introduced to the off site area, to other site staff and to the basic rules of water polo.

Facilitate, introduce, inform students of water polo rules.


5 min

Warm up with runs and three laps swim. Students who good swimmers are encouraged to show off other strokes.

Watch for body position in the water. Encourage. Coach. Get hips rolling. Help with kicks.


30 min

Be introduced to and practice the eggbeater position.Reaching arm in air to block pass or target to catch ball from teammates.

Introduce students to the eggbeater position and give notes/correct as they do. Scull with non-ball hand.


15 min

Be introduced to and practice passing.

Introduce students to correct passing techniques, oversee their practice, give notes. Move up to the ball.


15 min

Receive instruction on handling the ball.

Instruct students on how to handle the ball, continue work on passing.


5 min

Warm down, receive notes.

Warm students down, give notes to think about for next day.


25 min

Jog back to their site to prepare for dismissal.

Facilitate/coach students on fitness techniques.


20 min

Students stretch, change their clothes, get gear and discuss days lesson.

Ask students questions about day’s lesson. Check for comprehension.

Different Stroke for Different Folks. Schedule for non-swimmers:

Some Swim & Water Polo observers may think, “Bootcamp.” Really, it is fun, athletic and holistic. But we know that some kids don't want to swim. Some are not interested in athletics. For some, running is foreign and not fun. Hence, the need to prototype the Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedia offering. Since 1980, the obesity rate among children has tripled, with 17% (12.5 million) of children and adolescents between 2 and 19 years old being obese. The increase in childhood obesity is likely to have long-term health, financial, and social consequences. Children and adolescents should perform 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers’ Association and five other organizations ascertained the popularity of various activities in 2011. Swimming for fitness was in the top aspirational activities for the age group of 6-12 years. This finding reinforces commonly-accepted beliefs surrounding the popularity of aquatic activities and swimming in particular. A different published survey of African-Americans indicated a strong desire to swim more and high intent to visit a pool weekly despite no/low swim ability.

Running is an important activity for Swim & Water Polo. Walking and jogging is part of the activities for Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedia. Running worked well in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2012, every camper ran and/or walked 2 miles every day when going to the pool. Campers and staff, traveled on foot, running and walking, more than 3,000 miles within Pittsburgh's Hill District that summer. Summer Dreamers is urban renewal as kids and staffers are empowered and take to the streets, travel their neighborhoods, and even race among professionals. Our important mission of safety and fitness comes alive in group jogs. Walking needs its place in the sun too.

Running's greater emphasis in 2013 worked. The Pittsburgh Marathon delivers scholarship participation in The Liberty Mile, an August road race in downtown. We entered 60 participants and got 4 medals in the first ever Liberty Mile in 2012. In 2013, we had an even larger group of Dreamers and did a nice start-line chant. About 100 did the race in 2014. Plus, the kids scored another handful of medals. The social connection with the kids in yoga might hook them into swimming on the weekends or doing the Liberty Mile for the fun of it.

The Pgh Marathon's “Kids of Steel” program/curriculum of fitness and wellness returns. Our plans are a focal point for PPS teachers to champion with campers. New sneakers, shirts and other goodies are expected for many campers. In 2015, we'll offer the yoga students a chance to race too and we'll see what develops.

Mindful Training is new effort with 2015, championed by the yoga class. When it comes to the brain conversations, these students will have an upper hand over the swimmers. We'll hold them in esteem and have them teach the swimmers how to flex their minds. This new mindfulness thread among all comes with an association of Mindful Pittsburgh. Lessons and exercises on Android tablets are being developed for every day for both the double-block and single block activities.

The holistic purpose and implementation of Mindful Eating, Yoga and Multimedia matches what happens in Swim & Water Polo but without the swimming. Exercise, walking, running and the option of doing the Liberty Mile is part of that class. Rather than swim, students and teacher do yoga with an instructor twice per week. On the other three days, review and practice time happens on the mats for 10 minutes. Lessons fit in with some outdoor time for a walk or jog for the sake of wellness. Reflective writing and content creation happens every day in some shape or form. Self talk, belly breathing, brain lessons, mental imagery, anger management, relaxation, meditation and dozens of other psychological concepts get taught to the students and discussions unfold. The classic exercise of spending 10-minutes, or more, to eat a single raisin happens on week 2. By week 4, a class goal is to get the opportunity of spending 15 minutes while being in the present while eating a single potato chip. Throughout, new foreign foods are explored.


Tuesdays & Thursdays with Yoga Instructor Visits

Mon, Wed, Fridays

1 pm to 1:10

Housekeeping, Attendance, Announcements, inspirational video

Housekeeping, Attendance, Announcements, Brain Game

1:10 to 1:20

Objectives and Scripted Mindful Lesson

Objectives and Scripted Mindful Lesson



Yoga review & body scan

1:30 to 1:40


Discussion / Lesson & tasting @ Food & Nutrition

1:40 to 1:50


Walk & Jog

1:50 to 2 pm

Reflective Writing

Walk & Jog

2 to 2:20

Group walk or outdoor game

Photo and video testimonials with script writing


Swim & Water Polo builds on a passion for water polo developing in Pittsburgh. Nearly 1,000 city youth now have run, swim and water polo experiences, due in large part to Summer Dreamers 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Executive Head Coach, Mark Rauterkus, is the varsity boys swim coach for PPS Obama. That program is the only team to claim a WPIAL Section Championship in PPS history. In 2016, we hope and expect a return to school sponsored water polo as had been done back in the final two years of Schenley High. He also coaches water polo at CMU and directs many community aquatic and athletic experiences throughout the year in the city.

The 2015 activities provider for Swim '&' Water Polo is the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation (BGC) in Pittsburgh, where Coach Rauterkus is a contracted employee. The BGC had a leadership role as an activities provider in HealthSmart since the 2010 Summer Dreamers. Beyond the BGC, Coach Rauterkus and more than 30 experienced staff members, and seven additional “supporting sponsors” will provide expert capacity in 2015. Returning and confirmed “supporting sponsors” include: City of Pittsburgh's Citiparks, the Pittsburgh Marathon (Liberty Mile), Tiger Water Polo Club, Thelma Lovette YMCA, and American Water Polo. New in 2015 are ITRY (Youth Triathlon Team), Mindful Pittsburgh and a CMU swim coach connection is expected.

In 2013, BGC had 35 other employees working only for SDA and in 2014, 29. Many are coaches, lifeguards and former or present competitive swimmers and athletes. New coaching connections are expected in with the iCAN Triathlon Junior Team and with swim camp coaches at PCA.

In general, aquatics staffing demands high quality supervision. PPS teachers don't always do well in these roles. Some do fine. SDA looks for 1:20 adult:student. Meanwhile, at the pool we strive for 1:5 ratios. Recruiting and hiring is a year-round process. More time to train staff in year-round settings is always welcomed, but getting good access to PPS facilities to build capacity for better operations and management sake has been an institutional struggle with closed-door facilities and obstruction from principals and custodians.

Model: Each squad (25 kids) has a head coach, assistant coach and a junior coach. Lifeguards, aids and volunteers are also present. The executive coach, guest running coaches, and wildcard coaches are scheduled at various locations by design.

If attendance drops, fewer coaches are employed. Squads are joined for days too.

All the coaches have access to student data from our attendance app and they call home when kids are missing or don't show up. Staff emails highlight attendance attendance and daily objectives for better coordination.

All three SDA sites can include Water Polo activities:

1. Camp South Hills / Brashear to have up to 75 students (any grades and gender).
2. Camp Langley to have up to 115 students, with at least 40 being older, (grade 6 & 7).
3. Camp Faison to have up to 75 students with at least 25 being older.

One SDA site can have a single-block activity without swimming to be called, Mindful Eating, Yoga and Multimedia.

Target for students at each site is posted in the summary key chart on page 6.

Showing up: Attendance and Enrollment

Attendance in the 2014 Swim & Water Polo was about 1 percentage point below the threshold for avoiding a penalty clause in the contract. The BGC didn't protest and took the penalty despite some enrollment irregularities with student increases and removals. In prior years, attendance was exceptional. Our efforts to monitor attendance is robust with the aid of our technology and our attendance app that works on the smart phones of all staffers at all sites. We hope this can be used in a more universal way among PPS staff and office personnel. The most pressing improvement should come with data sharing as many were able to flow into our classes but associated data with parent contact was slow or never forthcoming. With our event communications, letters are mailed home many robot calls are made. We will continue to support PPS efforts for recruiting throughout the year and desire to do many preseason swim events in 2015 too.

In 2014 and 2013 Swim & Water Polo served nearly 200 students. In 2012, 100. In 2015 a range of 200 to 300 fits in afternoon activities. However, more than 500 could participate if swim activities were permitted in the mornings too. Do consider an “AM Upside Plan” that makes a bigger splash by doubling aquatic participation. Scheduling both morning and afternoon activity sessions happened at SDA in 2011 and 2012. Academics could happen after lunch for some students who do swimming in the mornings. Swimming in the mornings would be much better for those that utilize the public swim pools at Homewood and Sheridan. Running in the mornings, out of the afternoon heat, makes good sense. Some staff would enjoy the more full-time hours/work. Giving fewer employees more hours can improve overall camp management issues.

We build squads with up to 25 students at each site. Squad sizes of 20 work well too. Hence the range totals and maximum size per site. PPS over-enrollment cause quantity problems with sponsors given our rush to get orders for new sneakers for the students.

Swim & Water Polo in 2015 Summer Dreamers plans to serve between 200 and 300 campers, up from nearly 200 served in 2013 and 2014. Nearly all are in double-block, 160-minute periods in the afternoons. These BGC activities are both an “on-site” and “off-site.”

“Off-site” in 2015 comes with further classifications.

1) “Near PPS Site” means campers depart the school building for activities on foot to another PPS school. We have campers from Faison go to Westinghouse and campers from Langley go to PCA. 2) “Near Agency Site” means campers depart the academic building on foot to another site not owned by PPS. Examples: Langley students will go outdoor swimming at Citiparks Sheridan Pool. Faison campers go to Homewood Pool.

3) “Remote PPS Site” means campers depart the academic school building on bus for activities in another PPS building. None proposed in 2015, but we could take Faison swimmers to Obama as a back-up. 4) “Remote Agency Site” means SDA Campers depart the academic site and go to Citiparks pools such as Moore, Phillips, Highland Park and Sue Murray.

Aqua Facilities: PPS Pool needs with Pool Permits: Swim pools and locker areas within PPS are needed at: PCA, Langley, Westinghouse and Brashear. The superintendent of schools might need to help persuade PPS employees to grant access as an approved pool permit / contract for Brashear's pool for 2014 was revoked 24-hours before the first scheduled swim.

'Camp L'angley swimmers in 2014 got to use the pool at Langley and the Citiparks' Sheridan Pool. This was a good site in 2014. Three squads of up to 25 kids per squad can fit in those 2 pools. Sheridan Park was a great running venue. Some running happened around the sidewalk of the school too. Running also happens at PCA's outdoor track and a jog / urban hike occurs, supervised of course, between sites.

Camp Langley can expand in 2015 by using the swim pool at PCA, as was the case in 2013. Forty middle school students to go to and from Langley and PCA by foot (run & walk) every day. Negotiations with the CMU swim coach have begun that could engage the CMU swim camp operations in a supporting role for Summer Dreamers from Camp Langley at PCA.

Camp Faison's Swim & Water Polo swimmers get to use Citiparks' Homewood pool, again in 2015. It is just four blocks from the school. Meanwhile, a more competitive training option for students in 2015 is the new Triathlon & Water Polo squad. The TRI squad runs to and from Faison and Westinghouse every day. This activity's arrival to SDA comes along as a new youth Triathlon team, I TRY, is starting in Pittsburgh. The ITRY coach will help operate the Tri and Water Polo program and Coach Rauterkus is joining the ITRY board. A new “BADGE” system will be introduced this winter, spring and pre-season to help distinguish who at Faison can and should opt into the TRI squad based upon swimming, running skills and a desire for more robust training.

South Hills / Brashear Camp can avoid bus rides in 2015, thankfully, as Brashear has a pool. A couple of times in the summer we will visit PCA and have game days against other squads.

Transportation Clarity. The RFP says that PPS will not provide transportation to off-site locations. With Swim & Water Polo in 2013, bus transportation at Faison and Carmalt was obtained and paid for by PPS because those schools had no pools. The same was expected and documented in the 2014 proposal. Budget shock arrived in 2014 when it became known that those transportation costs were to be fully absorbed by the BGC. In 2015, bus transportation costs are less than 1% of the budget as schools with or near pools are being used. Bus costs are only needed for the Liberty Mile special event and other 'game days' held only a few times in the summer. These expenses will be paid out of the activity provider's budget in 2015 assuming no extenuating circumstances.

Better classroom space is needed at the schools. Gear space is needed so the kids can run without lugging book bags. Suitable classroom spaces with teacher computers, internet and occasional computer lab usage at all sites is required. ZZ Trouble of PPS needs some attention so we can bring our kids into the digital world without the teachers locking up the keyboards and mice to classroom computers, by design. If we could get one or two computers working in each classroom, that would be a huge upgrade. If we had classrooms that fit our students at every site, that would be monumental. If we could use iPads, we'd be happy too.

Connected Writing Project

The connected writing project was strong in 2013 but hit a few PPS technical snags in 2014 when the wiki pages were never opened to the network. The paper and pencil workbooks came and were not inspirational enough for my tastes as I desire to get these kids functional and literate in a digital world. The online showcase of what was done the prior year couldn't even be shared for self discovery for the 2014 students.

In 2015, the A for Athlete efforts, wiki pages and Exercise Encyclopedia will evolve. Plus, we'll have 28 scripted pre-designed Mindful Periods with exercises and discussion points. Our reflective writing will include photos, videos and personality that can be communicated around the world. Digital content from riptides to varsity swim drills is now being collected and can be easily shared on the Android Tablets in 2015 SDA.

The Mindful Eating, Yoga and Multimedia class puts the brain into motion and builds lessons enhancements that can be shared with others in the BGC activities. Some interplay among the various classes is expected. Look at what they did and created.

Android Tablets will be loaded with the A-B-Cs from 2013 and 2014 seasons. We'll use our own names, actions and word concepts to build upon that framework with new images and videos taken right with the tablets. The tablets help with attendance, timing of races and get the campers spending their summer exploring and discovering high-tech literacy in new and meaningful ways. “A-for-Athlete” covers the A-B-Cs and the tech elements we call, “Olympicpedia.”

A-for-Athlete is a real-life A-B-C book with two-foot-tall letters on billboard canvas. Students decorate the letters, filling them with words from the activities and the camp. Letters and the set have a group theme, perhaps adverbs or sports jargon or multilingual translations. Then the letters are taken to the games and demonstrated in group photos and videos. For example, the CAPA kids did “B” for brick and spelled the word and took photographs of themselves with the letters and the bricks at the BOTTOM of the pool.

Olympicpedia is a wiki experience and has an approach to educating and inspiring kids with inquiry-based learning. Olympicpedia kids care about sports, athletes, travel and being stronger as they grow. Our role is to guide the kids in finding the answers themselves and encourage them to ask new questions along the way. Olympicpedia also publishes the A-for-Athlete content the kids create.

Budget Narrative:

One budget narrative serves all the programs as every one is under one operational framework. Swim & Water Polo and Triathlon & Water Polo are nearly identical. The Mindful Eating, Yoga '&' Multimedia is expected to be as expensive than swimming as some new materials (yoga mats and tech utilities) are required.

The Swim & Water Polo programs have always been at budget or under budget. Last year was the hardest with the looming attendance penalty and extra bus fees not expected. So, few supplies were purchased. Sponsor donations and prudent spending was necessary. Some staff had to be dismissed earlier than expected.

Simply put, 80% of the money from PPS for SDA to the BGC goes to payroll. This is a staff intensive, coaching driven operation.

BGC / SDA budget peek:
Water Polo = $300 x 265 students = $79,500 +
Mindful Eating, Yoga & Multimedia = $150 x 40 students = $6,000 = Total $85,500

Staff costs are generally 80% of the total PPS budget. Extensive spreadsheets of past years staff spending are available for review. Most of the high school workers get paid less than $10 per hour. Varsity swimmers get an extra $2 per hour. Lifeguard certification gets another $1 as do prior year's worked in the program. Better managers get more responsibility and can earn more. The adult professionals coaches get around $20 per hour.

Average pay: $15 per hour x 135 hours worked for entire SDA = $2,000 x 35 employees = $70,000.

Other expenses are about $10,000 to $15,000.

With full funding, 13 squads, expected of 20-25 students each. That is 3 BCG staffers per squad. PPS teachers come to the staff, help with the students too.

In 2014, given the attendance penalty and the extra bus fees absorbed by the BGC, no equipment was purchased except one underwater digital camera replacement.

In 2015, equipment and supplies are needed. New and replacement balls, caps, goggles and goals are necessary.

Equipment, insurance and communications costs come out of the 20% that remains. Balls, disks, goals, caps, hats, goggles, laundry, snacks, buses to game days, timing devices, paper, posters, postage, pens, whistles, sun screen, phone, printing, payroll overhead, t-shirts and technology (wifi hot spots, digital cameras and tablets) remain.

There are few field trips other than the Liberty Mile participation. In 2014, the BGC paid for the buses to town and the Pgh Marathon paid for 3 buses after the race. We expect a couple of 'game days' where one set of camp All-Stars goes to another camp to play some games.

Swim & Water Polo has been able to obtain plenty of additional funding and in-kind services through the years. Donated trophies, equipment, and volunteer efforts are too great to list in this proposal. The sponsored athletes that ran in the Liberty Mile got 2 shirts, new sneakers, pizza picnic, bus-rides home, participation medals, pool party, race entry and goodie bags. Citiparks has done great services for our PPS students without charges. The American Water Polo Association, providers of our insurance, gives Pittsburgh a sponsorship rate that saves nearly $10,000 a year. In 2015, a Kickstarter effort could generate $10,000 to $100,000 for on-going operational support. There are lots of people, businesses and fellow coaches and advocates who have made serious contributions to these efforts. We stretch the PPS dollars to a distance that nearly doubles that amount. Likewise, PPS contributes too by granting smooth access to the various PPS swimming pools that reside in our publicly funded schools.

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