Brookside students compete in a kickball game. Students at Brookside School 54 are spending their afternoons running around the playground. But this isn’t your typical after-school activity. This is kickball.

Brookside teachers Judy Carlile, Marla Ryan and Amy Steele wanted to offer an additional sport to girls at the school and decided to organize a kickball team.

“We believe it is important for our students to have multiple opportunities to get involved in athletic activities after school at Brookside,” says Carlile. “The addition of kickball was a perfect opportunity for those girls who had never participated in a sport before.”

Now 17 girls stay after-school twice a week for kickball practice. The school has organized a few matches with local school Holy Angels, but is looking to play against other teams.

“Through kickball, the girls have learned the value of being on a team, the importance of working together and the need for good communication,” says Carlile. “The belief and hope is that these positive attributes will carry over into the classroom, into their social circles, and perhaps on to their next team.”

If any local schools are interested in learning about the team, need assistance creating your own team or scheduling a match, email Julie Bakehorn at