LSHS wrestlers share with elementary studentsThe Wrestling with Reading program came about as an idea to get Lake Stevens’ wrestlers, who are champions on the mat, to help younger kids become champions in the classroom.
“We felt that our young men could have a positive impact on elementary readers - especially for those students who may like the arena of sports but have not had the fire lit academically,” Coach Brent Barnes said.
With numerous college bound students in the wrestling program, it is goal of the Wrestling with Reading program to have high school students connect with younger students, showing by example that youth can excel both in the classroom and the athletic arena.
Currently, Lake Stevens High School wrestlers are focusing this inaugural year on a few classrooms at Sunnycrest and Highland Elementary Schools. Ten varsity wrestlers have been meeting with students on Thursday afternoons to help with reading.
Principals and teachers report that the reading program has been a very rewarding experience for both the elementary students and the high school wrestlers. The goal in the future is to expand this program to other sport teams at the high school and implement the program at all elementaries.
Jaime Anderson, the parent of wrestlers Sean and Jacob Anderson, was instrumental in obtaining a $3,000 Intermec Educational Grant to implement the reading program. Grant funding is being used to support reading and educational resources.
“What is really occurring here is that we are using our greatest resource, our students, to improve our sports programs, the culture at our schools, and the academic achievement of our students” Coach Barnes said.
The high school is looking forward to expanding this program and building on what has been a very positive start.