By Julia Andretta, ’15
On Saturday, Jan. 24, a group of St. Bonaventure volunteers made Franklinville Elementary School’s Sports Day one that the children are not likely to forget.
“We were blessed with amazing volunteers, who really did more than just ‘help out,’” said Sara Hatch, a member of the Franklinville Parent Teacher Organization and Sports Day coordinator. “They really took the reins and led the program.”
Sports Day is a yearly event sponsored by Franklinville’s PTO that focuses on physical fitness and, of course, fun. A multitude of games and sports stations are set up in the school gym for the children to rotate through, each focusing on a different sport or skill.
When Hatch reached out to St. Bonaventure for student volunteers, 11 students answered the call, including a number of education majors and cross-country team members.
The student participants were Dustin Schreibman, a freshman from Hampstead, Md.; Tristan Slocum, a sophomore from Franklinville; Joseph Yaegle, a senior from Youngsville, Pa.; Audrey Ramming, a freshman from New Cumberland, Pa.; John Polen, a freshman from Harrison Valley, Pa; Alexis Young, a sophomore from Punxsutawney, Pa.; Matthew Bacher, a freshman from Franklinville; Nick Konotopskyj, a junior from East Amherst; Joe Ferencik, a junior from Massapequa; Rachel Konieczny, a sophomore from Butler, Pa.; and Justin Ryan, a freshman from Glens Falls.
This strong volunteer turnout was thanks in large part to the efforts of Tristan Slocum, sport studies major from Franklinville.
“Sarah Hatch approached me [about Sports Day] again this year, and I asked Tristan if he was interested in helping out since he went to school in Franklinville, and he just went with it,” said Dr. Paula Scraba, associate professor of physical education at St. Bonaventure.
Slocum, an RA, took the initiative and reached out to his residents, friends, and fellow majors, garnering enough student interest to make Sports Day a success.
“I thought it would be cool to go down and have a fun day with the kids at the elementary school and I thought it would be fun to help coordinate it,” said Slocum. “It was also a big bonus that it was my old elementary school.”
For Slocum, the biggest payoff of the day was seeing how much the kids enjoyed themselves.
“They were having a blast, running around and smiling; they looked super happy,” he said. “The volunteers did a great job. I would definitely do it again.”
Hopefully this is only the beginning of Bonaventure’s involvement in this fun and educational Franklinville tradition.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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