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 RVC Partnership with RPS 205 Promotes Value of Education

3/5/2019 12:00 AM

​Many people in our community have heard about our recent athletic accomplishments at Rock Valley College. You see our players and coaches competing for, and winning, national championships, conference and region championships. Our players are decorated with awards, and many move on to play and continue their education at four-year colleges and universities. 

What you may not realize is the impact our athletic programs have made in the community. At RVC we are committed to giving back to both our campus and the community we serve. One of our proudest partnerships is the one we have cultivated with Rockford Public Schools. From the outside, many people may see our partnership with RPS 205 being based solely on the athletic events that we co-host, such as the IHSA Sectional Tournament, Rumble in the Rock, and Rising Stars Classic. However, what people do not know is the strength of the RVC/RPS 205 partnership when it comes to promoting the value of education. After all, education is the true mission of our two entities, and is the key to being successful in life.

This past fall, our men's basketball team started a "High Five Fridays" initiative. Over​ the course of four Fridays in the fall, the team went to local RPS 205 elementary schools before the buses dropped students off and welcomed the students to school with a high five. The smiles on the kids' faces as they saw our athletes was priceless. Our athletes formed a tunnel, clapped their hands, cheered and danced as they welcomed every single student to school that day. The message and the vision for this event is that it's fun to go to school, it's fun to learn, and it's fun to be with your friends, including some new friends from RVC.

One of the longest standing traditions our athletes have within our community is reading to RPS 205 elementary school students. All of our teams in the past eight years participated in this event in some capacity. Again, seeing the excitement of these students as we walk through the door is extremely gratifying. For an hour, we spend time hanging out with these students, reading them their favorite stories, and hopefully making a small impact on their educational development.  

Our young student-athletes take these opportunities to make meaningful contributions to our community. Other examples of community includes volunteering at food pantries, instructing at special needs basketball clinics, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and serving Thanksgiving dinners at homeless shelters.

In addition to developing our athletes as leaders, these community service projects teach our student-athletes important life lessons that align with the college's Institutional Student Learning Outcomes of communication, global awareness and responsibility, and personal responsibility.

As the college's athletic director, there are many things that our student-athletes do every day that make me proud. Some of the best experiences for our athletes, teams and coaches in their time at RVC have nothing to do with their ability to make baskets, hit a ball, knock down pins or score a goal. When our athletes begin to understand the value of servant learning, they learn the impact they can have on other people and the community as a whole. I am proud of our athletes and even more proud of the partnership we have formed with our friends at the Rockford Public Schools.

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The Rock Valley College Men’s Basketball Team welcomed students and staff at the STEAM Academy at Haskell.
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