For their recent trip to Littlebrook Elementary School, Princeton University's student-athletes swapped their textbooks for storybooks on potatoes, sharks and trains.
For over a decade, the Princeton Varsity Club has helped to bring Princeton varsity student-athletes, representing a variety of sports, to local elementary schools as part of Reading with the Tigers. With multiple school visits a year, Tiger student-athletes read to school children ranging in grade level from kindergarten through fifth grade.
As part of the program, the Princeton Varsity Club has formed partnerships with elementary schools in Princeton and in Trenton, including, most recently, the Christopher Columbus Elementary School. During the 2015-16 academic year, Reading with the Tigers expanded its programming through a partnership with the University's Office of Community and Regional Affairs, and Tiger student-athletes visited five schools.
"Our athletic program aims to complement and enhance the educational mission of the University and aims to provide our student-athletes with the opportunity to achieve, to serve and to lead,” noted Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux, a member of the Class of 1991. "The Reading with the Tigers program is an extension of our belief in the value of Education Through Athletics and a wonderful opportunity to connect with the surrounding community.”
The University's student-athletes not only read to the children, but also answer questions about what it means to play a varsity sport at Princeton, touching on topics such as good sportsmanship, proper nutrition and how to be a great teammate.
Mallory Remick, a swimmer who graduated in June 2016, said, "It was a really cool experience to see how excited the kids were to read the stories." She added, "Princeton has given athletes so much, and it's a great opportunity for us to serve the community and give back, and take a little time out of our day just to be here."