Photo: Quad City Mallards
Children who miss more than two days of school a month (or 18 days in a year) even in Kindergarten are likely to quickly fall behind their peers in academic achievement.
This statistic is one that the Quad City Mallards take seriously. The majority of their players have not only done well in hockey but also in school. 75% of the current team have attended college.
For the second year, the team is taking their passion for academics into local Quad-City classrooms by committing to volunteer once a month at a handful of elementary schools. Their volunteerism will focus on encouraging students to increase their school attendance and read on grade level by third grade.
The Mallards' first effort will start next Tuesday when they kick off an attendance awareness campaign at Monroe Elementary. At this school, 100% of the children are on free and reduced lunch. The players hope that by showing up at school rallies and inspiring children to regularly attend school, the kids will understand the importance of education in their lives.
The partnership with Monroe is just one element of the volunteerism project. Players will be working with students one-on-one throughout the hockey season to improve their reading and math skills.
“We’re grateful to the Mallards for stepping forward and engaging in this meaningful volunteer opportunity,” said Scott Crane, president, United Way of the Quad Cities Area. “The children look up to the players and having role models stress the importance of school attendance stands to make a huge impact in our local community.”
“We are very pleased to partner with the United Way of the Quad Cities Area again this season,” said Mallards president Bob McNamara. “We are grateful we once again have the opportunity to reach out to children throughout the Quad Cities and for our players to provide a positive influence on those students.”