Daley: What about lacrosse?
Chicago education reform news has been coming fast and furious lately, with the school district announcing closures of underperforming schools and a host of new funding initiatives
Amidst those big-dollar announcements, you may have missed another aspect of the plan to remake Chicago education: Mayor Richard M. Daley's lacrosse program.
"We have to give children more options," Daley said today. "We should look at cultural activities, sports activities in a new way."
Chief among those new ways, the mayor said, will be the East Coast game that consists of guys (and girls) running down the field with big sticks that are used to send small circular objects at goalkeepers at high speeds.
Chicago's sporting landscape is defined by the crushing blows of Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. So one might imagine lacrosse, given its pedigree as a slower, nerdier version of hockey, would face an uphill battle for popularity.
But it's already snared at least one fan -- Martin J. Koldyke, founder and chairman of Academy for Urban School Leadership, who appeared with the mayor at a press conference today to announce a $10.3 million grant to fund the academy's work at Collins and Orr high schools.
"There'll be lacrosse at Collins and Orr next spring," said Koldyke. "You can book it!"
Paul Bowker, a Chicago-area journalist with 25 years of experience, covers Chicago Public Schools for the Daily News.