LSU Athletes Make Waves, Turn Summersaults for Students
- November 3, 2010
Although they usually are busy attending classes, studying, practicing and competing, many Louisiana State University (LSU) athletes have found a little time to give back to the community, too – by reading with students. Members of the LSU Swim & Diving, Gymnastics, Track & Field, Volleyball and Women’s Golf teams have signed on to volunteer as Reading Friends through Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) EveryBody Reads program.
“One of the major things our program wanted to do this year was give back to the community,” said Co-Head Swim & Diving Coach Dave Geyer. “Our athletes approached the coaching staff with this opportunity, and we obviously gave them our full support. The public shows such support for LSU athletes as a whole, this is just a great way for our athletes to show their support for them, as well.”
Currently, 37 LSU athletes from the Shaquille O’Neal CHAMPS/ Life Skills Program are matched with a first-, second- or third-grade student who reads below grade level and attends The Dufrocq School. For example, second grader Dale Walker, age 7, enjoys reading weekly with LSU gymnast Ericka Garcia (pictured).
“I think this is important because I want to help kids be better students,” Garcia said. “I love working with little kids, and it makes me a better person, too.” Walker loves his reading buddy, often meeting her in the school library to read books like “The Complete Adventures of Curious George.” Garcia is a freshman who is majoring in International Studies.
The LSU athletes visit their student for 30-45 minutes at least every other week throughout the school year to improve reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills. EveryBody Reads also strives to foster a love of reading and build a young student’s self confidence.
Swimming & Diving Coach Doug Shaffer echoed the sentiments of Coach Geyer. “VIPS is a perfect vehicle enabling us to enrich the lives of our youth while giving back to the community. I’m sure that this relationship is mutually beneficial and we are proud to be associated with Volunteers In Public Schools,” he said. “I personally have been a Reading Friend, so I know first-hand how valuable the experience is and am proud of our student athletes for their participation.”
VIPS is an independent nonprofit that works to foster student success for every child in East Baton Rouge Parish public schools by building support for public education.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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