Hockey players visit MAES

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

Members of the Johnstown Tomahawks hockey team visited MAES as part of their “If You Read, You Succeed” outreach initiative.

Following a series of presentations by members of the Johnstown Tomahawks, students at Meyersdale Area Elementary School are no longer “rookies” when it comes to the sport of hockey or reading!

Tomahawk players spent the afternoon reading to students and sharing insight and information on their sport. Players read the Sports Illustrated book My First Book of Hockey: A Rookie Book. They also signed autographs and fielded thoughtful questions about their own backgrounds and journey from youth sports to competing in the North American Hockey League. They also showed the students their equipment and emphasized the need for hard work and commitment in order to be successful.

Media Specialist Stacy Kucenic said she was thrilled the Tomahawks were able to fit MAES into their busy schedule and hopes to see them return in the coming year.

“The Tomahawks offer many different programs throughout the year, including ‘When you Read, you will Succeed’, which typically takes place in the fall. Luckily, they had a few dates available for a visit. The timing was perfect, as we were just wrapping up our Read Across America Week, and it was the first day of the book fair, we were really excited to host them.”

Melissa Kauffman, Tomahawks Community Relations manager, said these types of outreach events are important to the players and the franchise.

“Our community outreach is finally building back up since COVID. This year, through the end of March, we will visit 127 classrooms. During our, “When You Read, You Score!” visits, we read books, share equipment, answer questions and sign autographs,” Kauffman explained.

“Empowering students through education and healthy habits is paramount to our community. Our players, as role models, understand the impact of promoting reading and well-being. Students are highly engaged to accomplish program goals and be like these young men. Hearing directly from the players is a push for students to accomplish goals and realize just how important these things are in everyday life. With the unwavering support of our community, we strive to give back through these important programs.”

MAES students enjoyed the visit and the Tomahawks now have a new “roster” of young fans!