BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College Department of Athletics and Recreation has formed a partnership with Marvine Elementary School for an after school program throughout the 2015-16 academic year.
The Greyhounds are spending Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., and the program began on October 14 and will run through April 27. Student-athletes from each of Moravian's 20 teams and cheerleading squad will take part in two sessions over the course of the year with approximately 20 students from Marvine.
"This partnership has been a wonderful experience for our Moravian College student-athletes and the Marvine Elementary School students through the first half of the year-long program, commented Moravian Assistant Director of Athletics and Recreation Sara Steinman. "Our student-athletes have made a huge impact on the kids from Marvine. Not only are they promoting physical activity through this after school program but they are inspiring a younger generation to dream big and reach their goals."
The Hounds' student-athletes begin each Wednesday program with a 10-minute talk about the importance of hard work both athletically and academically to achieve success as they get to know the Marvine students. After that, the Greyhounds will play their sport or a variety of games with the students over the rest of the hour.
"We are all very grateful that Moravian Athletics teams are willing to volunteer their time with our students," said Ellie McGuire, Community School Coordinator through the Americorps VISTA program. "Not only are the athletes great role models, but the students are also given the opportunity to run and play while learning about new sports and the potential to play these sports at the collegiate level."
The 24-week program will eventually see most of Moravian's 480-plus student-athletes making the trip to Marvine to have fun with the students from Marvine while getting them active.
"The Moravian fitness program for 4th- and 5th-grade students at Marvine Elementary School has been very beneficial by providing the opportunity for the kind of physical activity that is often lacking in the daily living routines of our students," stated Marvine Principal Dr. Karen Gomez. "The children have developed a basic level of athletic skills involving ball handling and body agility, and they have begun to understand teamwork. It is a worthwhile recreational endeavor."
The women's tennis team made its first excursion to Marvine on November 18 along with the men's tennis team, and the two squads will go again on January 20.
"Working with the kids that day was so much fun, and as athletes it is important for us to somewhat impact the lives of kids to get them active and to demonstrate some leadership skills to them," stated junior women's tennis player Brittney Eady. "I personally enjoyed working with all the kids, just to see them having fun and smiling and knowing I played a part in that, just feels great."
The Moravian baseball team has already had its two trips to Marvine with the team's season set to begin with practice in late January. The squad worked at Marvine on October 28 and December 9, the last meeting of the semester.
"I always enjoy being able to help out the community," noted senior baseball student-athlete J.J. Jordan. "I had a great time playing with the kids at Marvine, but seeing the smiles on their faces and knowing I made a positive impact on their lives was the most rewarding thing. Some of those kids might not have the greatest lifestyle at home so it was important to me to make my time with them special."
After a few weeks off between semesters, Moravian will resume its weekly Wednesday afternoons at Marvine with the men's and women's basketball teams participating in the program on Wednesday, January 6.
Click here to see a photo gallery from the partnership.