students spend First Day of Classes Eve getting settled into campus, purchasing
text books, putting the finishing touches on their dorm rooms and catching up
with friends. But the North Carolina A&T
swimming team spent their time in the community, volunteering their time at a
team, which features 17 student-athletes on the roster this season, spent a few
hours at Aycock Middle School on Cypress Street. Mere minutes from campus, the
Aggies helped to set up Room 118, where three classes of eighth graders will
study language arts.
look to be heavily involved in community service activities this year, volunteering
as a team at least once a month this school year. Participating in community service is an
important activity for the swimming team for a number of reasons.
important because it builds our character and our leadership skills throughout the
community. It's always good to give back," said junior Sarah Simmons, a long
distance freestyle swimmer.
belongs to Gia Wright, a former A&T swimmer who holds the program records
for all of the breaststroke events and who is also starting her fourth season
this fall as the swimming team's assistant coach. Wright knows the value of community service
from both her experience as an A&T student-athlete and a coach.
"I feel with
a lot of athletes in general, all they really know is their sport. They spend so many hours practicing and being
involved in their sport, they don't often get the chance to go out and interact
with people outside of their sport or outside of their schooling," Wright said.
"I think [participating in community service] makes them more diverse in their
While the Aggies
wrote out poster cards for a Word Wall and classroom rules, others cleaned the
white boards, arranged the desks and cut out paper and borders for bulletin
boards. Some of the Aggies organized the textbooks, leaving one at each desk,
and also arranged Wright's bookshelves.
Wright said it would have taken her about 10 hours to do what the ladies
did in two.
School Principal Keisha McMillan stopped by to say hello to the team and wish
them luck in the 2012-13 season while they were working.
The Aggies will
be represented year-round in the room. Wright
requested the room colors be Blue and Gold.
She uses the school's blue, gold and white to help inspire dreams of
college success in her students, who hope to one day have a first day of class
on a college campus.