CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Several student-athletes from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) took time from their busy schedules and preparation for their spring championships to mentor kids at Burns Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday, April 16, 2015.
The elementary school kids received a visit from the CIAA student-athletes as part of the Wings Helping Kids Soar afterschool program. The student-athletes were members of the men’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s track and field teams. They were in Charlotte for the CIAA Championships in those sports.
The volunteers spent time with the children getting to know each other, playing games and participating in sport-related activities and exercising. Jazzi Goode, the Wings program director, says the kids enjoyed interacting with the college student-athletes.
“To have the volunteers here, it shows the kids that there is a chance for them to do something and be something bigger and better than what the system has set them up to be,” Goode said. “To see these volunteers, who play tennis, who play golf and who run track, come in and want to spend time with them, it just lets them [the kids] know that people care about them as well, and that they [the kids] can do and be what they want to be. I really appreciate the volunteers coming here, and our kids do as well.”
Track and field student-athlete Trudy-Ann Richards of Johnson C. Smith University says the elementary students left a lasting impression on her as well.
“It was great working with the kids,” Richards said. “Just to watch them have fun was really good. It brings a smile to your face knowing you can bring happiness in a kid’s life.”