The DIG it! Volleyball Program

DID YOU KNOW? 

In 2015, only 29% of St. Louis public school students graduated. At DIG it! Volleyball Inc., we aspire to change that. 

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 at-risk girls in the St. Louis area.

 The mission of DIG it! Volleyball Inc.  is to use the sport of volleyball and character development training to educate and inspire at-risk 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. 



"Developing the inner girl"

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

WHAT IS DIG IT VOLLEYBALL Inc.?

DIG It! Volleyball Inc. is a non profit female empowerment organization. Our slogan "Developing the Inner Girl" reflects the mission of our organization which is to use character development training and the sport of volleyball as a means of educating and inspiring participants to make healthy choices in every aspect of their lives. 

We were founded by High Performance Volleyball Club and work in partnership with public schools and the Boys & Girls Club to provide a free after school volleyball program for over 150 at-risk girls at 11 different St. Louis public schools. 

what does the Program entail?

The DIG it! Volleyball Inc. program runs year-round with our biggest impact made during the spring volleyball season. Throughout the spring, DIG it! 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 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! Volleyball events such as campus visits, volleyball camps, workshops, and career development programs. 

"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."

 


Community Partners & Leadership

One of the great things about the DIG it! Volleyball Inc.  is that our organization is led by women who have experienced first hand the benefits of participating in the sport of volleyball and after school character development programs. 

DIG it! Volleyball Inc. is currently partnered with St. Louis public schools as well as the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis.  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, Patrick Henry, Miller Career Academy High School, and Compton-Drew Middle School all participated 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.

In 2016, Caitlyn Vann, founder of C2 Volleyball and good friend of  DIG it! founder, David 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.

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.


DID YOU KNOW? 

Currently there are no other organizations in the nation that provide free volleyball instruction and character development for low-income girls in grades 3-9th. 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. 

dig it data.jpg

Between skyrocketing costssport specialization and coaches needing training, youth sports is in the midst of a crisis, according to new data published Wednesday by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and the Aspen Institute. Athletic participation for kids ages 6 through 12 is down almost 8 percent over the last decade, according to SFIA and Aspen data, and children from low-income households are half as likely to play one day’s worth of team sports than children from households earning at least $100,000.  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.

WHY IS DIG it! Volleyball Inc. Important? 

After school programs like DIG it! Volleyball Inc. can boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe, structured environment for the children of working parents.

  • A national evaluation found that over 40 percent of students attending 21st Century Community Learning Center programs improved their reading and math grades, and that those who attended more regularly were more likely to make gains (Naftzger et. al., 2007).
  • Effective after school programs can improve classroom behavior (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 2010), school attendance, academic aspirations, and can reduce the likelihood that a student will drop out (Huang, Leon, La Torre, Mostafavi, 2008).
  • After school programs can play an important role in encouraging physical activity and good dietary habits. Participation in after school programs has been associated with positive health outcomes, including reduced obesity (Mahoney, J., Lord, H., & Carryl, 2005).

CURRENT GOALS & NEEDS

With the help of the community we can continue providing more opportunities for at-risk youth in the St. Louis area and beyond!

DIG it! is funded solely on grants and the generous donations made by individuals and companies. Funds raised go directly towards the needs of our DIG it! teams and players.

It costs $24,200 to sponsor the DIG it! Volleyball Program for St. Louis public schools and roughly $2200 to fully fund a DIG it! team 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

Our goal is to use the sport of volleyball to foster positive emotional, social, and physical development, in girls ages 9-15 years old. The DIG it! Volleyball Program aims to prevent participants from engaging in at-risk activities as they mature, while also providing them the tools necessary to be successful in the classroom and in life. 

By 2020 we hope to expand the DIG it! Program to a new city, which is estimated to cost $40,00-50,000. 

 


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.
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.
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.

want to get involved?

support the mission of DIG it! Volleyball and help us impact young women in St. Louis and beyond. you can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking the link below or by contacting us at canudigitvb@digitvb.com


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