Table Tennis, Anyone?

February 07, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

What do you do with mostly low-income students from single-parent families who need something constructive to keep them busy after school? If you’re Confluence Academy, a charter school in St. Louis, you create a table tennis team coached by a Chinese pro. Sheri Xu, a former junior champion from Shanghai, is the one who, during a dinner party, suggested forming the team to school founder Susan Uchitelle. Effusive in her praise, Uchitelle says of the sport, known more commonly as pingpong: “It ties in with achievement. [The students] have to concentrate, have agility ... practice for hours.” She’s not alone in her assessment. Although the Confluence team, made up of 30 kids in grades 3 to 8, is the first in St. Louis public schools, the American Youth Table Tennis Organization has been working with needy students in New York City and New England for years, tying the disciplinary and team-player aspects of the sport to academics. Already one formerly troubled 5th grader at Confluence has experienced a turnaround, thanks to Xu’s volunteer efforts. “I have never seen him so focused,” says one teacher.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Boosting Student and Staff Mental Health: What Schools Can Do
Join this free virtual event based on recent reporting on student and staff mental health challenges and how schools have responded.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
Practical Methods for Integrating Computer Science into Core Curriculum
Dive into insights on integrating computer science into core curricula with expert tips and practical strategies to empower students at every grade level.
Content provided by

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: October 11, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 27, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 20, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education From Our Research Center What's on the Minds of Educators, in Charts
Politics, gender equity, and technology—how teachers and administrators say these issues are affecting the field.
1 min read
Stylized illustration of a pie chart
Traci Daberko for Education Week