After-School Outreach Soccer Program


(from Joe Barreda, East San Jose Elementary School, 415 Thaxton Ave SE, Albuquerque) There are currently 34 students registered in the after-school soccer program. The intramural program is run on Monday and Friday afternoons. At this time the program is geared towards 4th and 5th grade male students. Every one of these students is enthusiastic in their participation. There is a need to expand to younger age groups as well as for a girls program. There are some limitations such as field size, equipment resources and soccer mentors. The program is providing a needed alternative to these young children who live in a high-risk neighborhood. The school is near the cross streets of Gibson & Broadway SE.

This after-school program is an outreach that is being run by Joe Barreda, a Rio Vista FC Coach and Board member. Joe has been involved in the soccer community for 28 years, as a coach, administrator and mentor.

The Ethicon Corporation has been a huge supporter of this endeavor. Ethicon has supplied finances to purchase T-shirts with the school logo, which are worn proudly by all the boys. Ethicon has also supplied the material and labor to build goalposts for the soccer field. Dave Sturdivant, a Rio Vista Coach, has been a great resource at Ethicon.

Sonya Woodhouse and her Ethicon plant management people were instrumental in building the goal posts.

The after-school program will run through the remainder of the school year.

This program has the potential to grow to other area schools. Week after week the boys ask Coach Barreda, “When are we going to play the other schools?”

The administration at East San Jose is enthusiastic and supportive. Their main goal is focusing on education and school pride, although they realize the importance of this after-school program because of the “high risk” issues in this neighborhood.