October 7, 2015

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Members of the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team recently paid a visit to the JALC Preschool where they spent time reading to the children and participating in other educational activities with them.   

The visit was part of a class the players are in this semester called College Success and Career Planning.  Taught by Logan professors David Cochran (history) and Tom Chandler (sociology), the class is designed specifically for student-athletes to help them develop the life skills they’ll need for long-term success.

“These kinds of activities are important for a variety of reasons,” Cochran said.  “Most significantly, these guys will probably all be fathers one day, and it teaches them about kids and the value of promoting literacy, especially at an early age. 

“Also, as athletes, these young men may be called upon to do some kind of public service, and this gives them experience with community outreach,” Cochran continued.  “And more than that, it’s just fun.  The players really respond to it.  This group seemed to be very comfortable with the children and immediately got down on their level to read to and interact with them.”

Cheryl McCann, Pre-K facilitator at JALC, helps coordinate the players’ visits to the preschool.

“I’m happy to work with David and Tom on this project.  It’s been wonderful for the kids,” McCann said.  “We have some children who are hesitant to join in group activities during a regular school day, but they get really excited to engage in these activities because we have these big basketball players here that they don’t normally see on regular basis.  These interactions have educational benefits for the kids while also allowing them to meet new people and develop their social skills.”

Kyle Smithpeters, head men’s basketball coach at JALC, said the players enjoy visiting the preschool.

“The players read books to the children and play educational games with them, and I think they have as much fun as the kids do,” Smithpeters said.  “It’s a very positive thing for our guys to be doing.  All the different activities they are involved with in David and Tom’s class are designed to help them grow as people and become well-rounded, successful student-athletes.”

  

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.