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Shoulder Pads and Paragraphs

By Asianah McCracken
On December 8, 2017

Photo by: William Owens

For a number of years, Ottawa University has given back to the community by creating a lot of different programs and clubs focused on donating. Students and sports teams are involved in many of these programs. Different sports teams such as football, basketball and baseball have volunteered to give back to the elementary schools in the area. At least 10-15 athletes volunteer a few days out of the week and visit the elementary schools to spend time with the kids.

Garfield Elementary and Lincoln Elementary are the two different schools the OU teams go visit. For this program, the athletes are mentoring and teaching the young students lots of new things. Aimed at kids that are in third, fourth or fifth grade, the program has been around for years, and many seniors have done it for at least two or more years. During this time, the athletes have a chance to create a friendship with young students.

“It’s pretty cool to have someone so young look up to you,” says volunteer Jarrell Taylor, a sophomore on the OU football team. “They think we all are all stars!” 

The program usually starts at the beginning of the semester and runs until the end, which gives the athletes plenty of time to help with different activities. Reading, writing and in-class problems are a few of the activities that go on during the semester. The student-athletes even have a chance to relive the glory days at recess together!

Not only is this program giving back to the community, but it is creating a big movement for OU students to become role models for younger kids by showing them the right direction in life.

“I like to see the kids grow within their grades. They only become smarter and smarter,” says Jakeem Martin, a junior on the Braves football team.

Not only do the kids get to see a number of different teams at their schools, they also are all given an opportunity to come to a practice and spend the day with the team. Being so young and seeing different college activities has inspired the young ones so much. The football team usually hosts a clinic for all elementary students who are interested in watching a free game usually held at the beginning of the year. 

When given the opportunity to come to a school and do what you love, giving back can show appreciation. And staying positive and expanding one's community is great way to show gratitude.


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