MOUNT PLEASANT - When Central Michigan University student-athletes aren’t practicing, they’re busy giving back to the community. This past month was celebrated as "March is Reading Month." Each week, student-athletes visited local schools to read their favorite stories and answer questions about what it is like to be a student-athlete.
March 2 marked National Read Across America Day. Read Across America is celebrated annually by having children read in every community on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and this year the day also kicked off the C.A.R.E. sponsored "March is Reading Month." Sophomore quarterback, Alex Niznak, got the chance to return to his hometown of Ithaca, Mich., where elementary students wore their Dr. Seuss hats as they listened to Alex talk about the positive aspects of reading. Alex also reminisced about his days at Ithaca North and South Elementary with former teachers and staff members.
March 19 was the first of three visits by CMU student-athletes to Renaissance Public School Academy in Mount Pleasant. Second and third graders were visited by senior Veronica Garcia and junior Jacquelyn McEnhill, members of the Chippewas' cross country and track and field programs. Students enjoyed hearing about the benefits of reading, having an active lifestyle, and what it means to be a CMU athlete from Garcia and McEnhill.
Discussions changed when soccer head coach Neil Stafford and field hockey head coach Cristy Freese visited Renaissance’s seventh and eight graders on March 23. With high school just around the corner for these students, Stafford and Freese gave insight on the positives of post-high school education, scholarship and career opportunities, and what it means to be a CMU Chippewa.
"March is Reading Month" finished off with a visit from wrestlers Donnie Corby, Lucas Smith, Logan Shanks and Chad Deno. Fifth and sixth grade students at Renaissance were excited to interact and read with the athletes and had the opportunity to engage the student-athletes in a question-and-answer session.
All of the students at Renaissance Public School Academy had a great time seeing what it was like to be a college student. In addition to that, each of the athletes enjoyed going back to elementary school and remembering what it was like to be in their shoes.
Each of last month's community appearances was organized through the C.A.R.E. Program. Click here for more information on CMU Athletics' community outreach program.