June 29th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: Nativity Academy

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: Nativity Academy
photo from Bob Meyer

Additional students will impact Eagles’ athletics

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

For a small Catholic elementary school offering education to sixth, seventh and eighth grades, Nativity Academy Athletic Director Bob Meyer says the 2012-2013 school year will bring new hopes for sports.

“We’ve always been in the 50’s and 60’s number (for enrollment). For the next school year, we will have around 70 students. We have a maximum of 72 students. This is a great opportunity for us to grow our program. We have received more and more attention, and more people are aware of us,” said Meyer.

Nativity Academy, located in downtown Louisville, has offered a Catholic education to low-income families in the area since its opening in 2003.

“The primary thing for the school in its first few years was to get the actual school up and running,” said Meyer. ”As a brand new school, there are so many needs and wants, and athletics were not high on the priority list. We first started with boys basketball, and then worked to help bring more sports and opportunities to the girls.”

Now, with more kids coming to the school, Meyer sees the additional enrollment as a way to teach values in faith and the classroom, but also on the fields and courts.

“The new kids coming to the school will impact athletics quite a bit because we will have more students to participate. We hook up with St. Stephen Martyr for sports, and that school is a great partner. We have been able to offer these kids the opportunity to play team and individual sports.”

With participation a key goal for the Eagles, Meyer is excited to see his school step up to the plate for victory.

“Our goals are primarily to expose these students to sports that they’ve never had an opportunity to play for a lot of reasons, whether it has to do with finances or logistics. With more kids this upcoming year, it can help with transportation as they can hook up with other parents. Transportation is a challenge because many of our kids ride the TARC bus for school.”

Meyer wants to continue pushing participation that leads to success at Nativity Academy and for the kids later in life.

“As for highlights with our sports program, I lean toward opportunities and participation as opposed to championships and trophies. We have kids that had never played some sports before Nativity Academy. This past year, we did have three boys part of a Toy Bowl Team in football. I get comments from parents about how much the sports opportunities mean to the kids, and I’m starting to hear now from kids who are in college. You can tell by the participation and attitudes of the students that they really enjoy the sports.”

With new Eagles coming to Nativity Academy, Meyer says he will look forward to seeing success stories return to him. He says that’s the ultimate goal of the game.

Said Meyer: “We are always looking for new sponsors and how to raise funds to help support our students. It’s a growth in progress. These kids are sometimes the first high school graduates in their families and they are now in college. Through education, we want to break the chain of poverty one student at a time.”


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