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Filling The Lane TEAM



Established in 2011, Filling the Lane is a non-profit basketball league serving at-risk, first generation, high school aged youth by bridging the gaps between education, sports, arts and community.

Filling the Lanes' vision is to engage the power of sport in order to bring together youth with positive mentorship, community engagement opportunities, and academic and social-emotional support. Through participation in Fill the Lane, some of the more marginalized youth in our community receive the support they need to excel on the court, in the classroom and in life.

Filling the Lane consists of 6 basketball teams and hosts local tournaments as well as providing participants the opportunity to go out on the road to compete in travel tournaments throughout the state and country. Each team participates in at least 10 tournaments each season, 5 of which are travel tournaments. In addition to the positive effects that participating in team sports can have on youth, as part of the travel tournament experience, players take tours of local colleges and universities where the tournament is held, participate in a cultural experience, including visits to museums and historic sites and visit a local restaurant for a fine dining experience. Recently, players have had the opportunity to visit colleges including Florida State College, Tennessee University, Morehouse Spelman College, University of Florida, University of Oklahoma and Florida A&M University. For many players this may be the only opportunity they have to tour colleges. While on tournament trips players have also had the opportunity to visit museums and cultural centers including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, the Ponce City Market, Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum, the Florida Department of Education, Florida History Museum, National Black Baseball Museum, NCAA Museum, and more.



This proposal will motivate and prepare high school students for academic achievement. Through the Fill the Lane Pilot Program future studetents will be tract to pursue advanced education and/or gainful employment. This program is takes a four (4) tiered approach to academic development: Developmental Advising, Mentoring, Tutoring & Senior Year Programming. At the end of this program, the students from the selected high school will see an increase in test scores, GPA’s, and there will be a rise in at-risk graduation rates. Below are details of each program element offered and a description of how it positively contributes to the success of Fill the Lane. 


Academic Road mapping (Advising)


The developmental advising infused in this program will ‘fill the lane’ between the traditional guidance counselors and the quagmire of college admissions. Developmentalacademic advising evolved out of this process; faculty advising took on importance as anexperience that contributes to a student's personal growth. At the end of the academicschoolyear, students will create a road map toward the goal of college acceptance. Each journey will be as different as the student’s unique academic standing. The goals for developmental academic advising are: developing competence, developing autonomy, and developing purpose in the student.


Mentoring Program


Filling the Lane will tap the Polk County University Alumni to foster mentoring relationships with the students participating in this pilot program. Partnering our students with active members of the Polk County University Alumni will allow for a holistic introduction to the Universities experience. Mentors sign an annual contract to interact with their assigned mentee at minimum weekly in school or extracurricular setting (example- study hall, sport event, science fair, etc.) Studies show that school-based mentoring programs tend to be about half as costly per youth even when adding the value of in-kind school contributions. These programs are able to capitalize on the knowledge, referrals, supervision, and support of the many adults who are already in the school setting. This simplifies the program staff's task of forming and monitoring relationships. (Dr. Jean Rhodes, 2002)


Tutoring & Mandatory Study Hall


The school-based study hour is scheduled immediately after school, four days per week. In addition to assisting with daily study needs and the improvements of test scores, students will learn the most important skill needed for success in college, time management. Students with failing grades must meet during this time with their teachers. However, other students have the choice between studying in groups, working on homework, studying or working with a teacher on challenging subjects.


Senior Year Programming


The staff at Filling the Lane, is committed to preparing each one of our students for the challenges of higher education. A student in our program will be exposed to information from a variety of sources, all of which are designed to give a glimpse of what to expect from college. During the workshops we cover, in detail, every topic dealing with the college admissions process. Seniors are required to meet several deadlines and maintain regular attendance at these workshops. Some of the topics that are addressed are:


1. Scholarships

2. Essay Writing

3. Choosing a College

4. Completing College Applications

5. Myths and Expectations of College

6. Financial Aid

7. Budgeting

8. SAT/ACT Registration




Filling The Lane, will use the direction and recommendation of public school’s administration to identify at-risk students that would serve as good candidates for participation. Students and parents will be informed of the program through an introductory meeting. Criteria for identification may include but are not limited to the following:


Minimum GPA 1.75

Struggles with standardized testing

Students unsuccessful at FCAT, who may qualify for 2+2 placement withappropriate ACT/SAT scoring


Fill the Lane will include the following elements: Academic Road Mapping, Mentoring Program, Tutoring & Test Prep, and Comprehensive Senior Year Programming. The ‘At-risk’ staff will provide direct services, inform and involve parents, and coordinate the implementation of Fill the Lane. Staff members will focus on holistic social competence.


Program Goals


1. Provide opportunities for all students to feel a sense of achievement.

2. To reduce student failure and potential dropouts.

3. To provide supplemental curriculum and instruction to meet the academic needs in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies of at-risk students for school success.

4. To involve parents and community resources in meeting the needs of at-risk students.



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