Creating impact outside the classroom
Ever wonder what the day looks like when a famous athlete visits a school? In the past few months here at Children’s Home, we’ve been lucky enough to have two exciting visitors stop by our Kiefer School and Academy for Autism. There’s much excitement in the halls during these visits, but for us, it’s the impact these visits have after that’s our favorite part.
Swishin’ with Scooter
First on the roster we had Scooter Christensen of The Harlem Globetrotters! Scooter surprised us with a visit that had our students buzzing with excitement last December. He spent time with large groups of students for 20 minutes, and in that time, he taught them specialty tricks like how to spin a basketball on your finger! He gave out autographs and took time for photo opportunities for both our students and staff. But Scooter didn’t end things there: he was scheduled to come back in a month to perform with the rest of his team at a local arena and our students and their families received tickets to see him!
Behind the steel curtain with Kendrick
We were also lucky enough to have recently received another visit, this time from a local celebrity, Kendrick Green. Kendrick graduated from Central High School and just wrapped up his rookie year with the Pittsburgh Steelers! Kendrick read a book on the basic moves he performs in his position as an offensive lineman to our younger students. Our older students got time to prepare some very important questions for him such as determining his favorite local restaurant, if he has pets, and finding out the max weight he can bench press. Each student also got to capture the moment by taking a picture with Kendrick that we later printed out for them to take home, along with an autograph.
What do our students remember most?
It’s hard to put into words the impact visits like these have on our kids as we serve such a diverse population of students at our Kiefer School and Academy for Autism. But while each student may have taken away something different from these visits, it left them all with a positive impact. Not all of these kids will grow up to be famous athletes, but that was never Scooter or Kendrick’s message. Scooter compared life to making a trick shot – you may miss, but you have to dust yourself off and try again. Kendrick told students that no matter what their dream is or how difficult it may sound, work hard to pursue it regardless.
For some, these visits motivated students to work on their behaviors to return to their home districts and get involved with clubs and organizations like Kendrick was when he was in school. For others, it was simply about having a positive experience. Some of our families got to go to Carver Arena, the local arena for sporting and entertainment events, for the very first time because Scooter helped provide tickets. Whether these visits compelled our students to work harder towards their goals or just as a positive experience, they’ll always remember them.