Community & Friends

UNCG Athletics’ First GCS Education Day is a Slam Dunk

Posted on Sunday, December 15th, 2013 by CommunityEngagement.
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UNCG Athletics hosted several thousand middle-school students for the first-ever Guilford County Schools Education Day on Dec. 11. It was held in conjunction with the UNCG vs. Claflin men’s basketball game, which began at noon.

About 4,000 students from 14 schools in the Guilford County system attended. The event was designed to enhance the education experience by utilizing athletics to learn about curriculum being taught in the classroom. Each student received a workbook designed by the UNCG Athletics Department, which emphasizes various parts of their curriculum at the Guilford County Schools. There was also a pregame education fair featuring UNCG campus departments.

Aside from the game – which UNCG won – the middle-schoolers cheered throughout the halftime shooting contest. It featured teachers representing each of their schools.

Before stepping onto the court, Chad Williams, exceptional children’s facilitator at Kiser Middle School, explained that it’s great UNCG is connecting to the community with this big event and involving the schools. It’s an opportunity for the young students to experience a college atmosphere, he noted.

Sylvia Lewis teaches math and language arts at Kiser – and coaches the girls’ basketball team. She mentioned a lot of great things about the day – the opportunity to experience a college atmosphere, a break from the norm for her students, to see other middle schools. But there’s something more: “To see the athletes and cheerleaders and dancers and band.” It can inspire children involved in these activities in middle school to work hard and get better, and be on this stage someday.

The GCS Education Day is another step in building the relationship with the school system and UNCG Athletics. The Spartans are also adopting four middle schools this year to partner with and have selected student-athletes to visit each school monthly.

For the past two years, UNCG Athletics and GCS have partnered on the Roadmap 2 Reading promotion, which rewards elementary school students who read a required number of minutes with tickets to a men’s basketball game. This promotion will continue again this year surrounding the Feb. 1 game against Georgia Southern.

The UNCG Pep Band played more recent hits and fewer classics for the middle-schoolers, said director and music faculty member Dr. Andy Smith. Senior Nolan Carter and Marwan Zamamiri kept the beat with the drums. “I love it – it’s loud and crazy,” said Zamamiri.

“A ton of enthusiasm,” said Carter.

Next for the Spartans? A road trip to Rutgers. Game time is Saturday, 4 p.m. It will be on ESPN3.

Enjoy Storify put together by UNCG Athletics.

See full story at UNCG Athletics.

reposted from UNCG News & Features
Story by Matt McCollester with Mike Harris
Photography by UNCG Athletics