The Ashland University women’s soccer team took part in a 13-week programs where the student-athletes connected with their respective students at Taft Intermediate School in Ashland. The players helped with their homework, played games, worked on projects, and, most importantly, mentored the Taft students.
Nicole Brodie, Taft assistant principal, answered a few questions about the team’s involvement at the school:
1. How was this program beneficial to the students at Taft?
The collaboration between the AU women’s soccer team and Taft Intermediate to implement a mentoring opportunity has had a lasting impact on all who were involved. The students who were a part of the mentoring program have built positive connections with great role models. The AU women’s soccer players were caring and provided Taft students with a listening ear, support, friendship and advice. Taft teachers have noticed that the students in this program have developed and modeled similar characteristics in the classroom with their peers. This opportunity aligns perfectly with our building citizenship curriculum, because it has modeled positive citizenship to our students. At the conclusion of the spring semester, it is evident that Taft students have built lasting relationships with the AU women’s soccer players. We are pleased with the outcome of our first year of developing a mentor program, and are hoping to continue this opportunity for the fourth-grade students who were involved, as well as, incoming Taft students.
2. What is the importance of a program like this?
Mentoring programs create positive, lasting impacts on the mentors and mentored students. Mentoring programs guarantee the mentored students that there is someone that cares about them and will listen when they feel overwhelmed with their day-to-day experiences. Opportunities like these allow students to experience and develop positive self-esteem, confidence and skills they need to be successful in school and their community. Mentoring on a one-on-one basis has allowed for the mentored students to learn how to develop strong and healthy relationships. After just a few meetings, students begin to display a positive attitude, increased motivation and an increased sense of belonging.
Taft is grateful for coach (Danny) Krispinsky presenting this mentor program opportunity. He has instilled passion and dedication into his team and players. These positive character traits were vital to the success of our mentor program.
On April 27, Ashland University football players delivered books for kids and moved book cases at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ashland.
On Jan. 9, the Ashland University softball team went to nearby Crestview Elementary - the first of four weeks the Eagles are teaming with the Second & Seven Foundation to tackle illiteracy.
The No. 1-ranked Ashland University women's basketball team recently spent time with students from Ashland Montessori School.
For the second year in a row (Nov. 6), the Ashland University softball team volunteered to clean up the kids park at the nearby Savannah ball fields.
"I feel it's a great way for the girls to take pride in your community, and a reminder to keep the passion for the game through a young girl's eyes," said Ashland assistant coach Shannon Schaub.
The Ashland University women's soccer team assisted with the United Way breakfast on Sept. 22.
It's another year for the 2nd & Seven reading program, and the Eagles went to Mapleton Elementary on the morning of Sept. 9.
From left to right, Ashland seniors Alex Henning, Rachelle Morrison and Kelsey Peare, and AU head coach Robyn Fralick, helped work the Ashland freshman cook-in prior to the start of the 2016-17 school year.
The Ashland University softball team took time to read to a second-grade class during its annual Florida trip.
Ashland University's men's basketball team hosted a group from DR Services in Ashland for an hour-long shoot-around on Monday, Feb. 22.
SWIMMING AND DIVING/ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT
The Ashland University athletic department and Ashland community collected more than 400 cans for Associated Charities and the Ashland County Food Bank.
Ashland University's men's basketball team volunteered at the Ashland Salvation Army Center for Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, Nov. 23.
One group set up during the day and another group came back at 6 p.m. to help serve food, do dishes and clean up tables/chairs.
The Ashland University softball team read to second-graders at Crestview Elementary School on Friday, Nov. 6.
MEN'S AND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
The annual Tuffy's Trick or Treat, sponsored by the Ashland University men's and women's basketball teams, took place on Tuesday (Oct. 27) from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Founders School of Continuing Education, 121 W. Main Street in Ashland.
This year, Tuffy's Trick or Treat was part of Costume Capers in Downtown Ashland. Both teams handed out candy to those in attendance, signed autographs and played basketball in the middle of Main Street.
The Ashland University softball team spent Sunday, Oct. 11, giving back to the Savannah Youth Ball fields by cleaning up the kids park.
"Unfortunately, like Savannah Youth fields, many small-town fields are ran by volunteers, and, sometimes the park just gets the bare minimum upkeep," said AU assistant coach Shannon Schaub. "I thought it was important to have the girls give back to a park that has given so much to me and other local boys and girls in the area. I grew up at that park - before I was born, then watching my dad and even brother playing. The girls did an excellent job removing weeds, small saplings and even replacing trim pieces that have been moved over time. It was a great team effort, and another reason to remind me of how great Ashland University is to this community."
Eighty kids turned out for Ashland University women's basketball's free clinic for girls and boys in grades 1-8 on Sunday, Oct. 11.
Eagle football players went to Ashland's Reagan Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 2, to read to and with second-graders.
For the last six years, Ashland University's softball team has "adopted" Mariah Thomas through the Friends of Jaclyn Program (friendsofjaclyn.org). The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers by pairing them with local high school and college sports teams.
On Sept. 30, the Eagles had a kickball game at Brookside West with Mariah and her twin sister, Shaniah, to celebrate their 16th birthday. Afterward, everyone went to AU's Convocation Center for a birthday dinner.
"It was great having Mariah and Shaniah come out to our practice and meet our new team," said Ashland head softball coach Sheilah Gulas, "and to celebrate their 16th birthday. It's such a special time to not only be with her, but to remember all of the birthday celebrations we've had over the years, including the first time that we met her and how much she's grown and how much she's been through over the years, batting this.
"It's even extra special knowing that her family (mother Andrea Fogleman and grandmother Nancy Smith) works with student dining here at AU."
On Sunday, Sept. 27, Ashland University's men's basketball team joined Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) leader Joe Maggelet for its annual trip to the Richland County Correctional Institution (RiCI). While there, the team helped spread the word of Jesus Christ through prayer and open discussion.
"As a program, we are always thankful to have the opportunity to spread the word of Christ, especially with those that are in less fortunate situations," said Ashland University head men's basketball coach John Ellenwood. "Our players grow from situations like these, making them better men and leaders in our community."
Members of the Ashland University football team spent their morning on Sept. 18 reading to second-graders at Hillsdale Elementary School.
Members of the Ashland University football team spent their morning on Sept. 11 reading to second-graders at Mapleton Elementary School.
Before the 2015-16 school year began, Ashland University’s women’s basketball team resumed its community service efforts by cleaning up following the Hospice of North Central Ohio’s 6th Annual Corn Roast on Aug. 22.
The night before, on Aug. 21, the AU women volunteered at the freshman orientation “cook-in” at the Convocation Center. All monies earned from the service were donated to the Ashland County United Way.
“We think of being able to give back and serve the community as a privilege,” said Eagle head coach Robyn Fralick. “A focus of our program is the holistic development of our student-athletes, and these sorts of opportunities lend well to that development.
“We are grateful that we can serve.”