The DIG it! Volleyball Program

DIG it! Volleyball, Inc. News & Updates

 Founded through High Performance STL's Select Volleyball Club, DIG it! Volleyball Inc, an acronym for "Developing the Inner Girl" is a 501(c)3 female empowerment program that provides free after-school volleyball training for low income girls in the St. Louis-area.

 The mission of DIG it! Volleyball Inc. is to use free after-school volleyball training, mentoring programs, networking events, and character development training to educate and empower socially and economically disadvantaged girls to make healthy choices in every aspect of their lives.

Our program, which has impacted over 150 girls in the St. Louis area results in the increase in confidence, courage, health, and educational and personal development. 


Check out our Facebook Page to stay up to date with the program! Or Follow us on Instagram/Twitter @digit_vb

DIG it! Volleyball is participating in the Stratman Sports Friday Night League! Games take place on Fridays at Center STL and the TESL Center. 

Come out and support, coach, or volunteer for the DIG it! Volleyball games on Friday, March 31st from 6-9PM at Center STL (6727 Langley Ave Affton, MO 63123) OR on Friday, April 7th from 6-9PM at the TESL CENTER (9719 Green Park Industrial Drive, STL, MO 63123). 

The 2017 DIG it! Volleyball Tournament will take place at SLUH High School on May 13th from 9-3PM. All volunteers, media, and friends of the DIG it! Program are welcome! 


"Developing the inner girl"

"DIG it! is a place for champions & individuals who are great role models!"

"DIG it! helped me play better, feel better, speak better, help others be better, and play volleyball."

"I have become a better person because of DIG it!"

"DIG it! helped me cope with being different."

"DIG it! gave me something to do when I had nothing without them."


WHAT IS DIG IT VOLLEYBALL Inc.?

DIG it! Volleyball Inc. is a nonprofit female empowerment volleyball program that provides free after-school volleyball training for low income girls in the St. Louis area. Our mission is to use free after-school volleyball training, mentoring programs, networking events, and character development training to educate and empower socially and economically disadvantaged girls to make healthy choices in every aspect of their lives.  DIG it! is currently composed of 153 young females ages 9-17 from SEVEN Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis and FIVE inner-city St. Louis schools. 

what does the Program entail?

The DIG it! Volleyball Inc. program runs year-round with our biggest impact made during our 12 week after-school volleyball program which takes place from February until May. During the volleyball season participants take part in practices, games, and character development sessions 2 times per week. Character development and wellness sessions include discussions on confidence, teamwork, body image, nutrition, work ethic, etc. The DIG it! Volleyball season concludes with a DIG it! Tournament where all twelve of the teams compete against one another, are connected with other local volleyball players and mentors, hear from special guest speakers, and are honored in an awards ceremony. After the conclusion of the DIG it! Volleyball season, participants will have developed new life-long relationships with teammates and mentors and will continue to attend DIG it! events such as campus visits, volleyball camps, workshops, and career development programs. 

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

DIG it! Volleyball Inc. is currently partnered with 7 Boys and Girls Clubs in Greater Saint Louis as well as 5 public schools. Ferguson BGCSTL, Hazelwood Southeast Middle School BGCSTL Club, Granneman Elementary School BGCSTL Club, Herbert Hoover BGCSTL Club, Adam's Park BGCSTL Club, Lee-Hamilton Elementary BGCSTL, Highland Elementary BGCSTL, Lafayette Prep Academy, South City Prep, Patrick Henry, Miller Career Academy High School, and Compton-Drew Middle School are all participating in our 2017 DIG it! Program. 

Director of the DIG it! Volleyball Inc. Program, Caitlyn Vann.

Director of the DIG it! Volleyball Inc. Program, Caitlyn Vann.

The 2015 Rosati-Kain women's volleyball team, who helped DIG it! Volleyball Inc. by coaching, refereeing, and mentoring teams & players throughout the season.

The 2015 Rosati-Kain women's volleyball team, who helped DIG it! Volleyball Inc. by coaching, refereeing, and mentoring teams & players throughout the season.

Leadership

Dave Bosch is the founder of the DIG it! Volleyball Inc. program. As a member of the Teach for America program, Dave taught 4th and 5th graders at an urban elementary school in North St. Louis where he soon realized that there was a lack of quality after school programming that promoted physical activity and wellness education for urban girls. In 2013 he joined the staff at High Performance STL and launched and directed the DIG it! Program from 2013-2015.

In 2016, Caitlyn Vann, founder of C2 Volleyball and good friend of Bosch, transitioned as director of the DIG it! Program. Vann, a former Mizzou tiger, professional volleyball player and Division I coach is passionate about supporting teams, programs, and athletes in under served communities.  Vann, who has been coaching and mentoring young girls for over 9 years, stepped in as director of DIG it! as a way to fulfill her goal of enriching the lives of  young low-income females in the Saint Louis area.


DIG it! Goals and Needs

DID YOU KNOW?

Despite a social push to improve the educational quality within our nation's urban and rural schools, the number of athletic opportunities for elementary aged girls is very minimal. Many urban elementary schools lack quality after-school programming for young girls due to budget issues within districts.  Research proves that the connections, skills, habits, and knowledge kids develop in extracurricular activities help them gain self esteem and resilience, and reduces the likelihood that they'll engage in risky behavior. Currently there are no other organizations in the nation that provide free volleyball instruction and character development for low-income girls in grades 3-8th. DIG it! Volleyball Inc. offers a solution to this problem by providing a free opportunity to participate in an organized sport for the population of young girls who have the least exposure to sports. 

CURRENT GOals

In 2016 DIG it! Volleyball Inc. experienced a major expansion, tripling in size and partnering with 9 schools in the St. Louis-area. DIG it! Volleyball Inc. now serves 122 young females throughout the city and is need now more than ever for funding and resources. In 2017, we have added 3 new schools and have extended the season from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. We also plan to increase enrollment from 122 girls to 160 as well as host networking events, fun activities, and college campus visits year round. 

Our goal is to use the sport of volleyball as a way to foster positive emotional, social, and physical development, in girls ages 9-17 years old and to prevent participants from engaging in at-risk activities as they mature, while providing them the tools necessary to be successful in the classroom and in life. 

CURRENT NEEDS

DIG it! is funded solely on grants the the generous donations made by individuals and companies. Funds raised go towards the needs of our DIG it! teams which include providing uniforms, kneepads, t-shirts, net systems, volleyballs, scoreboards, coaches, transportation to and from games and events, administrative costs, and healthy snacks for participants. It cost roughly $2200 to fully fund a DIG it! teams of 10 players. the $2200 provides a DIG it! team with 1 coach, 1 uniform, 1 pair of knee-pads, 10 volleyballs, 1 net system and the opportunity to participate in practices 2x/week as well as compete in 8 games


Testimonies

I CAN THINK OF ONE, IN PARTICULAR, THAT THE DIG IT! PROGRAM HAS HELPED TRANSFORM. THIS STUDENT COMES FROM A LOW-INCOME BACKGROUND AND STARTED THE YEAR WORKING WELL BELOW GRADE LEVEL. AT THIS POINT, GOING INTO THE FOURTH QUARTER, SHE HAS DOUBLED HER WORDS READ PER MINUTE, SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED HER READING COMPREHENSION, AND IS READING FOR PLEASURE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM. IN FACT, IN THE THIRD QUARTER SHE READ FIVE TIMES MORE THAN HER GOAL! I KNOW THAT PARTICIPATING IN DIG IT! IS PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS. HER SELF-CONFIDENCE HAS SOARED BECAUSE SHE HAS DISCOVERED A TALENT FOR VOLLEYBALL AND ATHLETICS IN GENERAL, DURING THE PRACTICES. SHE IS NOW SEEING THAT SHE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL, AND THAT PRACTICING IMPROVES BASIC SKILLS. THE CORRELATION BETWEEN VOLLEYBALL AND READING WAS CLEAR, AND MAY HAVE MADE A HUGE IMPACT ON HER FUTURE AS SHE CONTINUES TO GAIN MUCH NEEDED ACADEMIC GROWTH.
AS A CLASSROOM TEACHER AND A DIG IT! VOLUNTEER I HAVE SEEN FIRSTHAND HOW BENEFICIAL THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN FOR OUR STUDENTS. IT HAS HELPED MY STUDENTS BUILD SOCIAL SKILLS, ESPECIALLY THE ABILITY TO EMPATHIZE AND COOPERATE, IT HAS GROWN THEIR LEVELS OF SELF-CONFIDENCE WHICH HAS TRANSLATED INTO THE CLASSROOM AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, AND HAS ALSO INCREASED THEIR SELF-DISCIPLINE.
IT HAS BEEN INCREDIBLE TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE THE DIG IT! PROGRAM HAS MADE IN THESE GIRLS LIVES. MANY OF THEM HAD BEHAVIORAL ISSUES AND COULD BARELY GET ALONG WITH ONE ANOTHER FOR MORE THAN 5 MINUTES. AFTER JUST 2 WEEKS IN THE PROGRAM YOU COULD SEE A HUGE CHANGE IN THE GIRLS. THEY ARE NO LONGER GETTING INTO FIGHTS OUTSIDE OF VOLLEYBALL, THEY ARE ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER ON AND OFF THE COURT, AND YOU CAN SEE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THEIR CONFIDENCE.

want to get involved?

If you are interested in coaching a team, volunteering as a referee or guest speaker, making a monetary donation, donating equipment, or in a corporate matching program please contact us at canudigit@digitvb.com

A SMALL, TAX-DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION WILL ALLOW MANY PARTICIPANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN AN ORGANIZED SPORT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THEIR LIVES!