Thirty-five Savannah State student-athletics, along with members of the SSU administrative staff and several SSU coaches participated in a pep-rally at East Broad Elementary School in Savannah last week. The pep-rally was an antecedent to the “Read With The SSU Tigers” program; a joint outreach operation between the SSU Athletics Department and East Broad Elementary School.
“Read With The SSU Tigers” is a monthly program that has been established for the 2013 fall semester. Student-athletes from the SSU men’s basketball and football programs will go into the school and read assigned books to the kids once a month from August to November.
Men’s basketball senior Josh Montgomery was among the student-athletes that participated in the pep-rally last week. The experience for Montgomery was reminiscent of his own childhood.
“Growing up I always had athletes come back from high schools,” Montgomery said. “I used to hang out with the older kids, because we played basketball together. We had a junior program with the high school. After a game, the point guard came and talked to me about high school and everything. That was a very profound moment for me.”
A portion of the program is a reading competition for grades K-3, with incentive awards coming from the SSU Athletic Department for those that achieve the program’s goals. The kids will submit monthly logs, and receive recognition at home sporting events, amongst other awards.
The SSU athletic programs have been involved with several out-reach programs in the area, and plan on doing several more as a movement to get more immersed with the Savannah community.
This latest jaunt into the community is not only a great opportunity for kids in the local community, but provides a chance for student athletes to have a memorable and valuable experience themselves.
“We had fun talking to them,” Sophomore cheerleader Ebony Moore said. “I enjoy doing community outreach. I want to be a teacher and so I just enjoy hanging with the kids. It’s important to show the kids what we do and give them some insight on how to become a college athlete.”