Viking Tennis Reaches Out To Local Kids

Viking Tennis Reaches Out To Local Kids

March 27, 2007

The Cleveland State University men's and women's tennis teams have been working together on a community service campaign. The teams have adopted a second grade class at Marion-Sterling Elementary in downtown Cleveland.


The CSU tennis teams go to Marion-Sterling to help a group of 16 pupils taught by Ms. Jane Elias. At least three members of the teams visit the kids twice a week to assist students with their reading, comprehension, math and vocabulary skills.


"The Cleveland State tennis players are a fabulous group, giving their time to help make a difference in the lives of students," Elias said. "I feel extremely fortunate to have them assisting us."


In December, players from both teams gave fleece sweatshirts to the children at Marion-Sterling. Also, the team signed media guides and played games with the kids.


"This experience has shown us that serving out community is more important than what we do on the court," head coach Brian Etzkin said.


The campaign started from the Hosts Program, an initiative to help kids pass their proficiency tests. But when funding was dropped for the program a few years ago, the CSU tennis teams adopted the second-grade class anyway. The teams have now been working with Ms. Elias' students for the last four years.


Marion-Sterling Elementary second-graders were very appreciative of the CSU tennis players coming to their school

The tennis teams benefit greatly from their work with the students. Many of the students from Marion-Sterling have sent thank you notes and drawings to show their appreciation to the college tennis athletes. But the Vikings don't do it for the thank you accolades.


"Helping a child with their education, no matter how long it may be, is one of the greatest feelings anyone can receive," CSU women's tennis sophomore Kristin Chamberlain said.