Harrisonburg, Va., February 7, 2012-Last week, the James Madison women's soccer team spent part of Friday afternoon reading to kindergarten and second grade students at Smithland Elementary School in Harrisonburg. The players visited the students to promote this year's reading challenge.
"Visiting the school brought a lot of joy to both the children and our players. Student-athletes do not always recognize the impact and imprint they have on a young child," commented Associate Head Coach Bobby Johnston.
"Working with children has always been a passion of mine, so getting to work with the students at Smithland Elementary really meant a lot to me," said redshirt junior Kelly Germain.
"I thought it was a great experience for all of us and it helped demonstrate to us that just doing little things with the community really goes a long way. The students make us feel like "celebrities" by showing us how much they appreciate us and we get to have fun while giving back to the community," Germain added.
"Reading to the Smithland Elementary School kids was a lot of fun," remarked junior Amalya Clayton. "I think the kids really enjoy it and it is a good way to give back to the community. I think it also shows the kids that we are interested in spending time with them."
"It is very rewarding for the team to be involved in the community and provide an inspiration to the kids. We are always happy to be giving back. I think our players finally realized how important it is be out in the community when the second graders were asking for their autographs at the end of the day," added Johnston.
Women's soccer is preparing for its spring non-traditional season and will have an exhibition contest March 16 in Richmond, Va.