With LtN poised for growth in 2020, we wanted to share more about our process. How we decide which communities to devote time to and how we work day in and day out on the ground to fulfill our mission.
We want to make sure that every site we choose has a clear need for the work we do and is in line with our mission of unifying the lacrosse community to promote education and create opportunity for youth across the world. To decide this LtN developed a rubric to evaluate potential new sites.
The rubric assesses six criteria that help us decide whether or not to launch a pilot program. The final score lets us know if we should invest time and resources into a particular site.
Access to Education - How often are kids in school. How high is the barrier to entry? What are they?
Education is at the forefront of our mission. We want to use lacrosse as a vehicle to get kids excited about and valuing their education. We prioritize communities who demonstrate a need for academic support.
Access to Sport/Physical Education - Do children and youth have access to sports outside of school? Is P.E. being taught in school?
We believe that access to sports is critical for youth development. Kids with access to a variety of sports and extra curricular activities tend to be happier, healthier and more successful. LtN gives preference to communities who lack these programs so that we can provide a unique opportunity to learn and play.
Potential Partnerships - Are there people/organizations familiar with the needs of the community who can LtN can partner with at this site?
As they say, teamwork makes the dream work. If we can identify community leaders and organizations who want to partner with us we’ll be able to do much more than we could ever do alone. Identifying these organizations is critical to our success.
Local Staff - Are there people in the community who we could train to be our coaching staff?
Our experience has taught us that without local staff who believe in the power of sport and are passionate about helping their community we cannot succeed. If we do not see any opportunity to train leaders within the community our programs will not succeed.
Current Resources - Do we have the people and resources to run a 3- month pilot program?
We also look critically at our current situation. Is LtN in a place to expand? Do we have volunteers ready, willing and able to help us train and develop future coaches? Do we have the gear we need (sticks, balls, goals, etc) so that we can run programs effectively? The last thing we want is to over extend our resources.
Opportunity to Volunteer - Is the site conducive to hosting short and long-term volunteers?
A critical element of our mission and programs is the ability to connect US volunteers to the world at large. We want to provide the opportunities for coaches, players and lacrosse fans to experience the power of sport first hand. Being able to connect the US lacrosse community to our programs is important. If we cannot do that then we are not fulfilling our mission.
What the score means
Each criterion is scored, one (1) to 3 (three). The sum of all six criterion tell us if we should move forward or not. Her’es how we’ve broken it down.
0-6 indicates the site is NOT a good fit for our programs.
7- 11 tells us we are missing something before we can organize a pilot program.
12-18 lets us know we are a good fit and we should plan to launch a pilot program.
the pilot program
Once we’ve gotten a score we either move forward with our pilot program to see how the community responds. We spend at least three (3) months running our after-school lacrosse programs. The pilot is evaluated on a series of quantitative and qualitative metrics. Based on this evaluation and the recommendation of our on-the-ground staff our Board of Directors votes whether or not to launch programs full-time.
Next week Part II: Succeeding Long-Term