SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Throughout the 2018-19 school year, Lake Superior State student-athletes from the volleyball and track and field teams visited local elementary school classrooms to read to students and talk to them about Laker Athletics, solidifying their bonds with the community.
Reading Buddies is a state-award winning program that was created in response to President Clinton's America Reads initiative. United Way of the Eastern Upper Peninsula is heavily involved in Reading Buddies through its Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and extended the program deeper into the community through Laker Athletics' involvement.
"Having LSSU student-athletes come into our classroom and read to the kiddos was such a great experience," said Stephanie Farlow, first grade teacher at JKL Bahweting. "Not only did students get the opportunity to listen to good reading be modeled, but they were able to learn about the athletes and Lake State. It is so important to plant those seeds of continued learning and higher education at a young age."
"We were also thrilled to have female athletes visit our classroom," Farlow added. "So many of our girls looked up to them and saw that they could be powerful in athletics too."
Reading Buddies is one of many local initiatives that LSSU student-athletes have been involved in throughout the year, earning the athletic department the 2019 United Way Community Partner of the Year award.
Laker Athletics' involvement in the Reading Buddies Program is in conjunction with Soo Co-op Credit Union and the United Way of the EUP.