By Marya Fratoni
MANCHESTER, Conn. -- On September 17th at Verplanck Elementary School, representatives from a handful of UConn athletics teams volunteered to participate in the Annual Husky Reach BBQ Kickoff. Men's Basketball, Women's Lacrosse, Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving, Women's Ice Hockey, and Women's Track & Field were all represented at this fun-filled event. The student-athletes spent time getting to know the kids as well as playing sports with them outside on the elementary school's field facilities.
Husky Reach, a partnership program with UConn Athletics and the SMB Charitable Foundation, touches the lives of local children and families by inspiring the kids to work hard and take their school work to heart in order to pursue a college education. This beneficial program gives the athletes the opportunity to read at local schools to children in grades K-5. Additionally, the athletes talk to the children about how hard they have to work in order to have success in their sports and in their classrooms. The Verplanck students also get to come to campus throughout the year and attend a basketball game.
Student-athletes who participate in Husky Reach get to contribute to Verplanck Elementary's goal of one million minutes of reading as a student body. Free reading time and classroom reading assignments will contribute to this year-end goal in addition to the Husky Reach readings.
This event and the Husky Reach program is one of the many ways UConn Athletics is showing they care about the future by providing children with great role models to follow as well as an opportunity to become inspired by their success and achieve their own success in the future.