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DRE Classes Get Firsthand Look at Soccer

Exercise Is Part of Students' "Outcasts United" Reading Assignment

Students Rachel Bibbey and Dylan McBride take part in an English class exercise intended to introduce them to the sport of soccer, which plays a central role in one of their course reading assignments.

WINTERVILLE—Students in a newly-redesigned developmental English course Pitt Community College is piloting this semester may have appeared to be doing their best Pelè impersonations last week, but they were actually preparing for a class assignment.

PCC Foundational Studies Dean Hilda Barrow explained that students enrolled in DRE 098 classes at Pitt this spring spent class time Jan. 14 playing soccer in the college’s Charles Coburn Center. The exercise, she said, was intended to introduce them to the sport, since it has a featured role in “Outcasts United,” a book they have been assigned to read this semester.

Barrow says “Outcasts United,” which was published in 2009, is a non-fictional account of how Jordanian-born Luma Meflah organized a soccer team for refugee children living in Clarkston, Ga. She said the team—called the Fugees—still plays to this day on a new soccer field built through funding generated by the book’s popularity.

“The book is all about teamwork, collaboration, diversity and understanding,” Barrow said. “It also touches on the difficulties of a small Southern town that had to adapt to refugees from all over the world settling in their community.”

Barrow said she planned to use the “Outcasts United” reading assignment as a way to explore with students the concepts of differences and acceptance of people considered to be ‘different’ by others.