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“The kids felt like rock stars whenever the football student-athletes were on campus!”
“Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful, we can’t wait to work with everyone again next year!”
“It was a big deal whenever the players visited. The kids loved it!”
These were a few examples of numerous enthusiastic responses shared by staff members at Birch Lane Elementary School, North Davis Elementary School and Patwin Elementary School as the 2017-18 academic year concluded, one that included a unique program coordinated by UC Davis football and local schools.
Throughout the spring quarter, over 60 student-athletes visited these campuses on a weekly basis thanks to a unique opportunity featuring two of the team’s core philosophies, uncommon engineering and quality balance of life, and featured UC Davis Athletics' EVO program, which helps student-athletes create experiences and develop the skills sought by employers and graduate schools.
By moving off-season workouts to the winter quarter, football student-athletes now had room in their class and workout schedules to travel abroad, participate in an internship, organize community service projects or volunteer to help create as well-rounded an undergraduate experience as possible.
These opportunities rarely afforded by coaches of any Division I sport at any level across the nation.
And for this group of student-athletes, interacting with young Aggie football fans provided the perfect avenue to positively impact their local community.
“This was one of the best experiences of my time at UC Davis,” said sophomore biological sciences major Darius Livingston. “I know my teammates’ spring quarter unfolded in a similar manner to mine: I enjoyed spending time with the kids and they enjoyed interacting with us.”
Even though responsibilities varied from one visit to another, football student-athletes were a common presence, from the start of the school day until the final bell sounded four times a week. During some weeks, one could find UC Davis student-athletes assisting teachers in their classrooms, reading books to children of various ages and grades, or joining various school personnel on the yard during recess or lunch breaks. Teaching PE classes became another common occurrence as the Davis Unified School District’s spring quarter progressed, an investment of time and energy that mutually benefitted teachers, school staff, and members of the football program.
Said Livingston, “I felt like a big kid on campus, I could not help but reminisce about my own elementary school experience. I was an energetic kid back than, and I became one again every time I visited.
"Everyone was very appreciative of our time and the attention we gave to the kids, but I feel this was just as positive, and rewarding an experience for me and my teammates,” he added.
With the amount of positive feedback shared by teachers and staff from all three schools, the inaugural year of football's community service program exceeded expectations and succeeded to such a degree that everyone involved is excited, and eager for its return next spring.
With numerous players earning national honors and the league's top offense (for the first time in program history), UC Davis enjoyed its most successful season in the Big Sky last year. Secure the best possible seats for all five 2018 home games by purchasing your season tickets today!
Season ticket holders also enjoy exclusive benefits throughout the season, support the football program by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1, or purchasing online at UCDavisAggies.com.
UC Davis Football - Student-Athlete Volunteers
Birch Lane Elementary School
Algery McGuire III
North Davis Elementary School
Patwin Elementary School