Quinnipiac women's basketball senior Kari Goodchild (Van Horne, Iowa) and freshman Samantha Guastella (Red Bank, N.J.) visited Shepherd Glen Elementary in Hamden, Conn. on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. The two Bobcat players read several books to the students in kindergarten and first grade at the elementary school.
Shepherd Glen was chosen to be part of "Boomer's Book Blast", a program that encourages the reading at the grade school level by visits from Quinnipiac's student-athletes. TD Bank Sports Center Executive Director Eric Grgurich worked to secure a grant from the Northeast Conference to fund the program, which will also provide buses for the children to attend a pair of men's and women's basketball games. The program is also part of Quinnipiac Athletics' Positive Play program, which encourages community involvement by its student-athletes, coaches and staff.
"Quinnipiac and Eric Grgurich's commitment to Shepherd Glen Elementary school came to fruition due to the work of Quinnipiac, the staff of Shepherd Glen, and the Shepherd Glen families," Principal Joe DiBacco said. "This partnership has brought Quinnipiac student athletes into Shepherd Glen to read to students and to speak to classes about the importance of teamwork, and the significance of hard work and commitment."
Earlier this month, men's basketball players Jamee Jackson and Kevin Tarca also visited the school with Grgurich and Athletic Ticket Manager Matt Calcagni.
"This partnership has also afforded Shepherd Glen families the opportunity to attend sporting events as Quinnipiac has donated tickets not just for students but to all members of their family. This kind of support and generosity is greatly appreciated during tough economic times. The QU family nights have provided a community enrichment activity that promotes family participation and engagement in the community of Hamden. Shepherd Glen is fortunate to have this partnership and we believe it will lead to aiding in creating life-long learners, active community/family members, and will help build students that are destined for success."