PORTLAND — Representatives of the Boston Scholar Athlete Program told local school officials tonight how their new organization is trying to promote academics through an innovative corporate-sponsored sports program.

School Committee members Sarah Thompson and Jaimey Caron invited the representatives to make a presentation. They’re investigating non-tax funding options because sports and other extracurricular programs in Portland schools are in perennial jeopardy of budget cuts.

Founded in 2009, the Boston program was established in three of 16 Boston public high schools last fall with a $1 milion lead contribution from the Red & Blue Foundation, a charitable arm of Suffolk Construction Inc. The future goal is to operate in as many Boston high schools as possible.

The program funds and promotes athletics as a way to build student confidence and encourage academic success by providing special study halls and academic coaches for every student athlete.

“Kids see that it’s cool to study and it’s cool to be an athlete,” said Katy Meade, executive academic director of the Boston program.

Thompson said several local community leaders and professional sports team owners have already expressed interest in starting a similar program in Portland.




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