NORTH PROVIDENCE – A student-led petition to establish a volleyball program at North Providence High School has proven successful.

“I’m always impressed when we have students who advocate for themselves and others. My belief is that if we have the interest and enough members for a team, we should make every effort for that request to become a reality,” said School Committee member Gina Picard last Wednesday.

Picard had asked for the matter to be placed on the meeting agenda for approval.

The effort was led by NPHS student Kayla Jo Macchio, who told Picard that when she approached staff at NPHS about adding volleyball to the athletic program, she was told to “go and work for it.” She did just that, garnering more than 300 signatures on her petition.

“There are kids coming up next year from 8th grade who are wanting to play volleyball and wanted the high school experience to play,” said Macchio.

“When I came up here I wanted to be able to play, but we had no team.”

NPHS Principal Christen Magill said she spoke to the athletic director about the process of adding volleyball for both girls and boys to the spring and fall athletic schedules.

A cost analysis revealed that the program will cost $21,000 to run, which would include the cost of hiring two coaches for the spring and two for the fall.

“We would need enough students and coaches to do that,” she said. “I’m not sure, in the event that we didn’t have enough, whether there are co-ops or things like that that would be available that we would use for other sports.”

The first step would be to hold an informational meeting for students to gauge interest.

The varsity team would need about a dozen players, and roughly 20 would be needed for a junior varsity team.

Unfortunately, Magill said they’d need to know whether they have enough players and coaches by next week in order to have a spring season in 2022. Magill said that’s not enough time, but that the program will be able to get off the ground for the next school year.

The girls will play in the fall, and boys in the spring.

Picard said her intent is to move forward for next year, knowing this year’s budget season is over.

“I think we all understand the cost with coaches, referees travel, etc., but I’m confident within the athletic budget and within ours that we can make that sure that that happens,” Picard said.

She made a formal motion to implement the program, which was approved.

Supt. Joseph Goho thanked Macchio for advocating on behalf of her peers.

Reporter's correction: The print version of this story incorrectly spelled Kayla Macchio's surname name as Mackey.

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