For the past few years, students at Stephen C. Foster Elementary School in Compton have been learning lacrosse in a program that grew out of the school’s partnership with the William Morris Endeavor Foundation. Now the group that brought lacrosse to campus is hoping to expand the program to Whaley Middle School, where many of the Foster students move for sixth grade.
The program, which has been operating at Foster for about three years, was started by WME partner Scott Seidel and coach Cutty Cuthbert. The WME Foundation has worked with Foster in a wide-ranging partnership for some time, including a mentorship program and a weekly camp on Saturdays in the summer.
“I brought my son to the camp one summer,” Seidel said, “and he happens to be a lacrosse player who was trained by Cutty. He had the idea of a separate one-week camp on lacrosse.”
From there, Seidel said, they idea grew, “because one week wasn’t enough. We wanted to expand it into Foster Elementary, to provide physical education in the form of lacrosse.”
Now, Cuthbert and other volunteer coaches — including Mike Gvozden of Viewpoint, former Brentwood and University of Michigan player Mitch Kelln, Palisades and Emerson alum Marlee Galper and former University of Louisville player Natalie Hopkins — visit Foster twice a week to teach the sport to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have physical education at all, much less in lacrosse.
“We’ve been very lucky that we’ve had people who are truly excellent lacrosse instructors but are also really good with the kids,” Cuthbert said.
The next step is to expand the program into Whaley Middle School. While the overall relationship between WME and Foster is funded through the WME Foundation, the lacrosse program, as an offshoot, is separate and funded solely through fundraising.
To that end, Seidel has created a CrowdRise funding page and is planning to run the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run on Dec. 10 to raise money for the program. In past years, he has run the Sacramento Marathon and the Hood-to-Coast 200-mile relay along the Columbia River in Oregon.