Friday, March 26, 2010

Student-athletes spend time at local school

by Ryan Schulz


One by one in alphabetical order students at Glendale Elementary School filed into the school’s library on Friday morning in usual fashion, but the basis for their visit to the library was anything but usual.

When the students walked in, they were greeted by groups of Vanderbilt student-athletes, who spoke to the children about the importance of education, answered questions from the children and read books to them.

For one-hour increments, three groups of Vanderbilt student-athletes interacted with students at Glendale Elementary School from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday.

The student-athletes introduced themselves to the children by telling them the sport they play and their hometown. They then interacted with the children by asking them questions ranging from what they wanted to be when they grew up to their favorite subject in school.

Following the opening questions, the first group of children selected Sergio Saves The Game as the book they wanted the student-athletes to read to them. The student-athletes in the first group, which included Jordan White and Erin McManus (track and field), Anna Fargo (swimming), Chris Johnson (football) and Gabby Smith (women’s basketball), spent the next few minutes taking turns reading the book to the children.

“I’m really glad I came to Glendale Elementary to do this for the kids,” McManus said. “The athletic department is really good about setting up different programs with schools in Nashville, and it is always really fun to see the kids get excited talking to athletes.”

After reading the book, the student-athletes had trivia question for the children, who received t-shirts and hats for their answers. To conclude the visit, the student-athletes answered questions from the children.

“It is an awesome experience because it gives them something to aim for when they are older,” added McManus.

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