Elementary-Aged Students Reading With the Pokes

Oct. 20, 2015

LARAMIE, Wyo. - As part of Excellence at 7220 program, eight UW student-athletes attended the first Reading with the Pokes experience at Beitel Elementary school in Laramie, for the Fall 2015 semester. The following student-athletes were in attendance:

The UW student-athletes were part of Beitel Elementary’ s monthly assembly where they, along with school teachers and officials, talked to the students about school activities and in particular, acknowledged reading goals that had been reached by the elementary aged students.

UW student-athletes will continue attending assemblies at the end of each month at Beitel Elementary where the UW student-athletes will become more involved in inspiring, motivating and encouraging students to engage in reading. Student-athletes would be responsible for addressing the individual students who have met the reading goals and at the end of the assembly award the “Golden Bulldog” to the class that completes the most minutes of reading. UW student-athletes experienced a rewarding and successful trip to Bietel Elementary.

Alan Herndon of Cowboy Basketball stated, “I had a very great experience with the kids. We came into smiling faces and kids waving… I just enjoyed being with them and having the teachers say that they talk about us so much.” Herndon also said, “I was more nervous speaking in front of them than any other crowd I've had to speak in front of.” Herndon had fun interacting with the kids and spoke of a funny moment when a kindergartner just stood next to him and looked up at him like he was a skyscraper.

Brandon Tribble of Cowboy Wrestling said that the experience was “refreshing.” Explaining, “youthful ambition absolutely makes my day.” Tribble learned that “leadership and good character starts from a young age. I was impressed by some of the things teachers said about young students.”

All student-athletes seemed eager to continue expanding their appearances to other schools in addition to a return trip to Bietel Elementary on Halloween Day—October 30th. UW student-athletes plan to read with local elementary students during the months of October/November and again in February/March. Each sport program will have student-athletes, coaches and/or staff members involved in the reading opportunities during the 2015-16 academic year.

Office of Academic Service Coordinator, Rosemary Stribling, who oversees the program, hopes “Reading with the Pokes” encourages “the Laramie youth to get excited for learning and striving to become stronger academically through reading. Our athletes are highly respected by the youth of our community and they enjoy having the opportunity to read and develop relationships with the athletes that they look up to.” Stribling also adds, “Our UW SAs love working with children and it is easily recognized by the participation we get from our athletes and how much fun they have working with the local elementary children. It’s fun to watch these athletes who have to be aggressive for their sport become so kind and gentle while working with these young children. I am extremely grateful that we have so many local schools who are able and willing to participate in this program, it is just as enriching for us at UW as it is for the children.”

If your school would like to be involved in the Reading with the Pokes program, please contact Rosemary Stribling at rstribli@uwyo.edu for more information.