Wright State Lake Campus Men's Basketball team began a year long community service project in the Celina School system that is already paying dividends. Each day of the week at least three Lakers are in the classrooms at Celina Elementary or Celina Primary. The student-athletes assist teachers and students with reading books, helping with math, 1 on 1 mentoring, or even the occasional recess.
Coach Westerlund shared this thought regarding the Laker Reading program, "We wanted to give our guys many opportunities to serve and give. I believe these opportunities foster tremendous opportunities for growth. We tell our guys all the time, that the platform they have allows them to influence and lead. I have loved seeing my guys invest in these young people."
When asked how the Laker Reading Program got kicked off Coach Westerlund said, "Well it was something that was suggested to me this summer, and I thought it was tremendous idea. Renee Simcoe at Celina Elementary and Laura Brandt, the head of the B.A.R.K program at Celina Primary, did such an awesome job working with me and our guys schedules to make this happen. We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity."
Laura Brandt the Director of the B.A.R.K program said this about the Laker student-athletes, "The WSU Lake Campus basketball players are making time in their busy schedules to come work with the kids of Celina Primary School. They are volunteering weekly with the B.A.R.K. (Building Achievement by Reading with Kids) program by mentoring students and helping them improve their reading skills. These guys always come with smiles on their faces and a helpful attitude! They are definitely the tallest volunteers we've ever had at CPS! The kids are enjoying every minute of it and look forward to the time they get to spend with their basketball buddy!"
Freshman Forward Chaz Painter said this when asked what he enjoyed about volunteering in the community, "The thing I most enjoy about volunteering is getting to see the joy and happiness on other people's faces when you've positively impacted their life."
Sophomore Guard Jake Ryan says he is learning a lot from this experience, "I'm learning how to be a positive figure in these kids lives and how important my role is in their lives."
Sophomore Guard Quincy Green also said, "It feels good to set a positive example for the kids in the community. It's been awesome to establish a relationship with the kids and them to know what we are about in our program here at Wright State Lake. We are role models to them which is important to me."