About 700 schools and 200,000 students in Arizona are about to be introduced to a new set of physical education curriculum courtesy of their local NHL team.
The Arizona Coyotes announced Wednesday that they have partnered with the NHL, the NHLPA and the NHL's Industry Growth Fund to create a street hockey curriculum for Valley students. The curriculum will be added to over 300 schools in Maricopa and Pima counties in the 2018-19 school year, 200 more schools in 2019-20 and another 200 schools in 2020-21.
The curriculum will impact kids from kindergarten through eighth grade. Each school will receive $1,500 in Coyotes-branded street-hockey equipment, which will include 50 sticks, 50 balls, 50 pinnies, two hockey nets, a stick bag, a teacher's gift backpack and a Coyotes-themed "Raise the Pack" banner.
"Our hockey development department has done a tremendous job growing the game of hockey in Arizona, but we still have a lot of work to do," Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen said. "This program will allow us to get more sticks into the hands of kids and help educate them about our great game and promote youth health and wellness. We are grateful for the incredible support that we have received from all the Valley school districts and look forward to a great partnership in the future."
The Coyotes have emphasized the development of youth hockey in the Valley, including among girls. Last summer, former Olympian Lyndsey Fry teamed with the Coyotes to create the only NHL-funded development program designed for girls only. Earlier this month, the Coyotes hired Fry as a special adviser.
The following schools and districts are expected to introduce the curriculum in the 2018-19 school year:
-Mesa Public Schools
-Washington Elementary School District
-Chandler Unified School District
-Glendale Elementary School District
-Creighton Elementary School
-Balsz School District
-Tolleson Elementary District
-Laveen Elementary School District
-Phoenix Elementary School District
-Alhambra Elementary School District
-Kyrene School District
-Tempe Elementary School District
-Scottsdale Elementary School District
-Gilbert Elementary School District
-Various Tucson school districts