(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, began their “Rush to Read” Program with great success in schools across the Rapid City community.
To help promote the team’s upcoming “Super Hero Night” on March 11th, the players read super hero-themed books to students across four local schools on February 1st to kick off the initiative.
“Our players know the importance of education for our youth, and take great pride in being role models in the Rapid City community,” said Rush Head Coach and GM, Joe Ferras. “We all remember how exciting it was when local athletes would come to our schools and speak when we were growing up, and our players not only get very excited to give back the community, but also love seeing the smiles and the excitement that they can bring to our young students in the hopes that they can take positives out of their visit.”
“In helping promote the Rush’s ‘Super Hero Night’, we began our ‘Super Readers in Training’ Program, in conjunction with our Annual Read-a-thon,” said Becky Binder, a Kindergarten teacher and Rush Season Ticket Holder at Lead-Deadwood Elementary. “We tried for so long to have players come to our school and the schedule and timing just never worked out. Last year, it finally did, and the kids were just ecstatic. The players are looked up to tremendously by our students, so much to the point that the Rush are always a running conversation. Players come to the school for reading purposes like this and it fires up the kids. Because of their visit, our students have read at a higher pace and look forward to the educational challenge because the Rush players helped make it exciting.”
“The kids eyes light up when they see a player in uniform. It’s amazing to see how quickly their attention and focus change when there’s a player in our school,” Scott Phares, Principal of Valley-View Elementary noted. “The players are so engaging with our students when they’re reading. It’s always great to see our team giving back, helping to create partners in our community. The players also donated posters to our school, so we’ve added those to our incentive store, which helps motivate our students that much more. It’s great to see the success of the ‘Rush to Read’ initiative.”
“I think for us as a bigger picture, any time community people come to us it makes us happy. It helps people truly appreciate the impact of education,” said Cher Daniel, Principal at Rapid Valley Elementary. “The kids see that these public figures stress the importance of reading, and having them come and make that impact adds to the fun of learning as well. We get our Student-Ambassadors involved, being responsible for making sure the players are comfortable and know where they’re going, and for them, it adds to the experience that much more. We were very grateful to have them and hope they can come again soon!”
“The opportunity to have Rush players in our school is incredible. For them to take the time to interact with our children, who look up to them as role models in our community, is something special for our school,” Holly Yamada, Blackhawk Elementary School Principal added. “It’s a fantastic way to give back to our community. Not only did they come to help promote ‘Read Across America Day’ for us a month early, but they also rolled their sleeves up in the gym and helped teach the game of hockey in our PE class. Most importantly, through all of this, our students understand that we have a great group of gentlemen that represent themselves and our community in the highest of ways. Its special for all of our students and teachers alike.”
Keep an eye out for your favorite Rush players as the program continues through February!
Other Rush News:
Join Rush Nation for only $10 per game! Call the Rush office at 716-7825 for details, and stay informed on all Rush happenings this season through the official Rapid City Rush team website, www.RapidCityRush.com, and the Rapid City Rush mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play.