From the moment that I first learned about National Bank’s ‘On The Ball’ Program I knew that I would want to share it 🙂
Many of you have already seen – or applied – the technique of cutting slits into tennis balls and turning them into ‘chair slippers’. The advantage of doing this in a classroom setting is that it reduces the amount of noise in the classroom by eliminating the screeching sound that can happen when student move their chairs. An additional bonus mentioned by teachers is that it also reduces the amount of scuff marks on the floor.
Now, while it’s nice to say this contributes to a quieter and more pleasant learning environment, there are actually hard numbers to show WHY this is so important. Not only can chair slippers reduce classroom noise by 32%, but there’s an actual impact on grades. Believe it or not, some studies have shown that using these chair slippers results in a 7-10% improvement in grades for students with normal hearing and a 40% improvement in grades for hearing impaired children.
It’s such a simple solution, but equipping a classroom with enough tennis balls for all of the chairs can become a costly endeavour…unless there’s a way to get those tennis balls donated. That’s where National Bank’s On The Ball program comes in. Now in its 11th year, the program recovers used tennis balls and transforms them into chair slippers to create noise-free learning environments and make it easier for children to concentrate.
So, how many tennis balls does it take? If you estimate about 25 chairs in an average classroom, then that’s 100 tennis balls per class. That’s how many tennis balls are in the suitcase in the photo below, together with my daughter reading her book 😉
Since its inception in 2006, the On The Ball program has collectedmore than 1,600,000 tennis balls, helping to change the day-to-day learning experience of over 375,000 students in Ontario and Quebec!
How do all of these tennis balls get collected? National Bank has partnered with tennis clubs who have agreed to keep On The Ball donation bins on their premises. The balls collected in the bins are then distributed to schools across Quebec and Ontario.
In addition to the actual distribution of tennis balls to classrooms, there are some other pretty awesome aspects to the program as well:
Tennis star Françoise Abanda is the current On The Ball spokesperson, and has visited local schools to present them with donations. On these visits she talks to the students about following their dreams and teaches them about goal-setting. Can you say <3 ?
While tennis balls can last as little as 3 rallies for professional and semi-professional players, when used as chair slippers in school – they have a lifespan of 3 years. Not a bad thing to delay sending them to the landfill where it would take 2,500 years for them to biodegrade. This is also a great way to teach the kids about the impact of re-purposing items that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Now, I know you have questions, here are some answers 🙂
Q: How can I donate used tennis balls?
A: Drop them off at a participating tennis club. You can find a list on the On The Ball web page
Q: How can I get tennis balls for my school?
A: Sign up for On The Ball Support (Schools) Click here to access the sign up form
Q: How Can I get my tennis club members involved?
A: Sign up for On The Ball Support (Tennis Clubs) Click here to access the sign up form
Q: What are you doing with the 100 tennis balls in your photos?
A: 100 tennis balls can outfit 25 chairs and neither myself nor the good folks over at National Bank want those tennis balls going into a landfill – we want them in a classroom! That’s why I have made arrangements to donate them to a local school who can use them 🙂
On that note, I encourage you all to collect those tennis balls rolling around your garage floor and drop them off at an On The Ball bin at a participating club.
Wishing you a fabulous day where you are On The Ball 😉
Disclosure: As with all sponsored posts, I will only ever share with you products and/or services I believe in. All opinions contained within are my own and cannot be bought 🙂