VANKLEEK HILL — Pleasant Corners Public School has welcomed the Hawkesbury Hawks into the classroom to improve students’ reading.
Under the Hawks Reading Program, the Junior A players visit the school each Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. They read to students from a book of their choice, either in groups or individually. Students read to their guests as well, and players correct pronunciation or help in other ways. The program, which started in November, sees up to four players volunteer each week.
Principal Dominique Bertrand says the program has been a huge success.
“It’s building students’ literacy skills and helps reinforce the idea that we’re all part of a community,” said Bertrand. “We know that our youngsters look up to hockey players because it’s our national sport. When they come in, our students really listen to what the players say and put a lot of effort into their reading.”
About a dozen players from the Hawks are involved with the program. They rotate between different classrooms each week, helping students from Kindergarten to Grade 6. The players also sign autographs and pose for pictures with students.
The team has helped in other ways. Management invited the entire school to a recent daytime hockey game – offering discounted tickets.
For their part, the experience helps players connect with their community and enhance their leadership skills off the ice.
The collaboration continues until March, when the playoffs begin.