Amarildo Pedro Rita played professional soccer in Brazil and has been coaching youth soccer players in the United States since 1999. Currently, he is The Director of the a Developmental Soccer Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan which trains over 1300 players per year. Coach Pedro holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, two years of Social Sciences from Brazil, and a Master’s Degree in Physical Education. He is also an USSF “A” LICENSE COACH. Website
Cilene Susan Adam Rita completed her Ph.D. in Counseling from Wayne State University, and has a master's degree in Counseling from Niagara University, New York, and a Professional Degree as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the Universidade do Vale do Itajai, located in Itajai, Brazil. She has worked as a psychologist for over fifteen years with adults and children in diverse and multicultural settings. In recent years, Susan has taught several classes including Group Counseling, Disabilities in Urban Society, Counseling Process and Practice, and Internship in Counseling. Her community outreach involves the development of a soccer program for children with disabilities with her husband in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and groups for Women with disabilities facing abuse.
Bending a Soccer Ball
The theme is soccer, but it also examines children’s experiences with disabilities and differences. This book was written after starting a soccer program for children with disabilities called Dragon Soccer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We believe that kids are sponges and absorb the role modeling of those around them. While adults are often set in their ways, we have an opportunity to influence children’s views and future actions. This book is about a neighborhood of kids who learn through their experiences. Although one of the girls may look different, she is more like the neighborhood kids than it appears and she is worth getting to know. This book is wonderful, vivid, and with lots of colorful illustrations.
Irene Roth | 03/05/2012
What a wonderful and vividly illustrated picture book for kids of all ages. Technically, it is a book about soccer. But it is so much more because there are so many important lessons contained within the book. Bending a Soccer Ball is about a group of kids who love to play soccer. One day, Amanda shows up for the game. She looks different and wears old clothes. At first, no one wants to approach her. But as they get to know her, things really start to change. You see, Amanda unexpectedly knows a lot about soccer. The book will teach young readers many valuable lessons. First, readers will learn that they should never judge people before they get to know them. Second, they shouldn’t assume things about others just because they look a certain way. Lastly, readers will become aware that the nicest and most talented kids sometimes come from the most unlikely backgrounds. What a great book!
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