The 2023 Browns Flag-In School initiative is live in 29 elementary schools across three districts in Northeast Ohio – Berea-Midpark School District, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Euclid City Schools – as a part of an effort to increase student engagement and provide boys and girls with the opportunity to learn to play football.
As one of the fastest growing sports and now an official sport in the 2028 Olympics, the Browns remain committed to growing flag football. Through the football development model, the Browns are engaging in flag, rookie and tackle football. To ensure both boys and girls have the opportunity to learn the game, we launched the pilot program of Browns Flag-in-Schools in fall 2023.
Browns Flag In-Schools is focused on developing a turn-key flag football implementation model for elementary physical education teachers and their classes. It aims to prioritize flag football as an in-school physical activity that also builds and maintains a foundation of healthy, lifelong physical activity for the students.
Browns branded toolkits stocked with flag belts, flag footballs and pinnies were delivered to each of the participating schools along with 10 lessons for teachers to follow, with the goal of teaching the basics of flag football while accommodating all experience levels.
The activities included in the curriculum for the fall semester use a combination of individual, small and large group skill development activities that are in alignment with SHAPE America's National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education and were created to use with students between grades 3-5. They were designed to be taught during a standard 40-minute physical education class over the course of 10 lessons. The goal of the units included in the curriculum are intended to help students develop, refine and master fundamental motor skills and movement patterns as they pertain to flag football.
The Browns also host bi-weekly meetings with physical education teachers across the 29 schools to provide support, answer questions and receive any feedback for the improvement of the new program.
There's a strong alignment between Stay in the Game! Attendance Network and the Browns Flag In-Schools. Browns Flag In-Schools aims to support the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network mission of improving student attendance by also providing engaging in-school learning experiences and physical education and growth opportunities for students to be active before, during and after school. Students that are not chronically absent are almost 7x more likely to meet their third grade reading guarantee, and 9x more likely to graduate from high school on time.
In celebration for students having a strong commitment to school attendance, three schools in the Browns Stay in the Game! Attendance Network – that are also participating in the Browns Flag In-Schools program – were selected for a "Gym Class Takeover" throughout the 2023 fall semester.
The first Gym Class Takeover, hosted by CB Greg Newsome II at Dunbar Elementary School, offered hands-on instruction including football skills stations, contests and non-contact games in a high-energy environment. Students also received custom Nike swag for their school as part of the takeover. The event served as a reward for the top 60 students with good or improved school attendance.
"All your dreams that you have require some type of education," Newsome said at the event. "To be able to take what they learned today and apply it, not just tomorrow, not just the day after, but for the rest of their lives. I just hope that they stay consistent and realize that school is very important."
CB Cameron Mitchell also joined Newsome at the event to spend time with the students and help share the importance of attending and staying in school.
"One thing that I hope that they took away from it, I know that me and Greg are NFL players, but to get here we had to take school really seriously," Mitchell said. "We both went to Northwestern – really big academic school, and that's hard to do. If you've got dreams to go to the NBA, NFL, whatever it may be, school is what's going to get you there. That's your ticket."
They are seeing early success with the program, as students have been taking the flag belts out to recess to play. Teachers at Dunbar Elementary are enjoying the curriculum of the new program.
During the Fall 2023 school semester, the Browns hosted two more "Gym Class Takeovers" to promote Browns Flag In-Schools and the importance of education among the next generation of student-athletes.
The second "Gym Class Takeover" was hosted by Browns DL Maurice Hurst II at Grindstone Elementary School in Berea, OH. To close out the semester, Browns CB MJ Emerson II led the third takeover at Washington Carver Elementary, along with a surprise guest appearance by Browns WR David Bell, who wanted to join in on the fun!
The Browns selected both schools based on their strong partnership with Stay In The Game! initiative and their impressive improvement in school attendance during the semester. As additional school districts are onboarded for the Browns Flag In-Schools program in Spring 2024, they will introduce more "Gym Class Takeovers" as an attendance incentive.
To get your school involved in Browns Flag-in-Schools, contact email@example.com.