PHILADELPHIA – After a semester full of spring matches and serving the community, Temple volleyball wrapped up the season by going back to Northern Children’s Services where the Owls had volunteered previously. The team had gone on a weeknight the first time, and they went back on a Friday night to have a different experience.
When the team went to Northern Children’s Services the first time, they tutored the young kids and worked on projects with them. For this visit, they went on a Friday night. After arriving, they were taken to the gym to teach the children basics about volleyball.
The Temple athletes started the session off with introductions and partnered with the boys and the girls to teach them the basics to volleyball. The athletes taught the kids how to pass, set, attack, and serve the ball. Some of the kids picked up the skills easily and started peppering with their partners. As the evening went on, more kids showed up for the session. When a large amount of kids arrived, the athletes were able to break into teams and play mini games. The teams played two mini games each, and the children had a lot of fun and were very competitive. At the end of the session, the Owls autographed a volleyball for the children and took pictures with everyone. It was a great night for all involved, and the children are looking forward to coming to Temple volleyball matches in the fall.
Kevin Weber, the Director of Northern Children’s Services, was extremely appreciative of the team’s commitment. Weber wrote a letter explaining more about the background of the program and about the impact of Temple Volleyball’s involvement.
From Kevin Weber…
Our volunteer program has extended to many colleges and universities over the past 10 years. We’ve been very fortunate to have been involved with schools such as Temple, LaSalle, Villanova, Penn, St. Joseph’s, Ursinus, Gwynedd Mercy, and Philadelphia University. Many students from these respective schools have also volunteered their time as tutors throughout the course of the entire academic year. Volunteer tutors play a tremendously important role in our program as children are facing an extremely critical time in their academic journey toward success or… failure. Many of the children who enter our program come to us because they are struggling both emotionally and psychologically at home and in the classroom. Some of the children become emotionally apprehensive in the classroom and are 1-2 grades behind in their reading and math levels and thus, find themselves continually behind their peers on the academic spectrum.
The children are also in great need of positive role models, and this is where the Temple Women’s Volleyball Team has helped us tremendously. Our job is to help and support each child through each step of their behavioral and academic journey with the hope of giving a child the opportunity to help themselves now and later in life. After spending 33 years in this business, I cannot neglect to mention the role that sports plays in guiding the personality of each of these children. The kids love sports of all kinds and we introduce the children to a bevy of athletic activities such as baseball, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, handball, tennis and volleyball. The kids love the games but they are also influenced by the athletes. Just this past year, the children at NCS have had the opportunity to meet NY Knicks star, Carmello Anthony, Former Sixers, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, Villanova Basketball point guard Dylan Ennis, Philadelphia University Mens and Women’s Coaches Herb Magee and Tom Shirley and a host of athlete’s from the Villanova Women’s basketball and lacrosse team, Gwynedd Mercy U. men’s and women’s basketball, lacrosse, baseball and tennis teams and, of course the Temple Volleyball Team.
Athletes are role models to many, many kids who aspire to be an athlete just like them one day. Our kids are no exception. Athletes are role models to these kids or at least, they are a positive and successful individuals that a child looks up to. Whenever we at NCS have the opportunity to introduce professional, college or high school athletes to our kids, we’re ecstatic to do so. The kids come to our program at a very critical time in their behavioral and academic lives. It’s so important for them to latch on to become the best students that they can be. We reinforce the need for them to develop disciplined homework and study habits and to use the tutors to overcome some of their academic difficulties in the classroom. This is sometimes easier said than done.
Because of the love of sports for many of our kids, getting a chance to meet the STUDENT/ATHLETE for them is a wonderful opportunity to meet young people, young men, young women who have sacrificed much and have reached goals that have put them in a position to be one of the best in their sport. To get there, academics also had to pay an important role in their lives. We let the kids know that the dream to play a sport in high school or even college is contingent upon doing well in school. It goes hand and hand. It’s the key that opens the lock for opportunity.
To meet the athletes from the Temple Volleyball team is like having that key handed to the kids. In two trips to the NCS campus, the team was involved in two aspects of the program, tutoring and teaching volleyball. They were outstanding in both. Not only were women great athletes but they were wonderful people too. As tutors, they were kind, patient and understanding of the academic abilities of each child and very helpful and supportive when a child asked for help. As “teachers of volleyball” they did a great job participating and encouraging our students to overcome their volleyball adversities to become team players, to never give up and to be examples of true sportsmanship to their fellow teammates. It is through this encouragement and support in recreation that our children learn to build up their own strengths and confidence in school and in our program.
The players made a huge difference because the kids get to socialize with students who are positive examples and role models to them. These fantastic players plant a seed and a positive memory in a child’s life that tells the child that he/she can make it and that they can succeed too. When you have good people around you, like this women’s volleyball team, it brings a warm feeling of hope to many of our kids and that is simply priceless. I just want to thank the coaches and the players of the Temple Volleyball team for coming out and thinking of us in such a special way and for truly making a difference in a child’s life. They did a fantastic job with the kids and from all of our staff and children, we are so very much appreciative to have had them join us for a night with the kids. Thank you Temple Volleyball so very, very much! I hope we can get a chance to see them play some time in the Fall!!