The relationship between California State University, Northridge student-athletes and the community has always been strong. CSUN’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, had been working to make it even stronger by organizing yearly trips to schools like the Granada Elementary Community Charter School to help children there learn to read.
For the past four years, members of SAAC have gone to Granada Elementary to help teacher Mark Ellis’ third grade class with their reading comprehension. The athletes are teamed up with a student to read books the third-graders had picked out.
Haley White, SAAC’s co-president, senior basketball player and aspiring teacher, said she believes it’s a program that does good both ways.
“I love kids,” she said. “I love seeing the smiles on their faces, and it’s always good to see someone at such a young age appreciate what you do. They really look at us like superheroes and superstars. It’s refreshing. It brings us back down to reality.”
Ellis said the student-athletes look forward to the experience.
“They really do become attached ,and the kids want to read with their favorite person that they read with the last time,” Ellis said. “To be honest, I think the athletes get as much out of it as the kids at least, if not more. No one is forcing them to come, yet they show up.”
For more: Student-Athletes Give Back to the Community (Daily Sundial)