Hoops Service Program LMU Cares Gears Up

March 20, 2009


Lennox Voices Newspaper in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Los Angeles, CA -- LMU men's basketball and its community service program, LMU Cares, has begun its partnership with Project Knapsack, working with students at local elementary and middle schools, while also helping students in Africa. LMU Cares was created as a community service entity with a mission to develop and foster long term partnerships with students from local schools while supporting education through service learning globally.

The program started in October when journalism students from the Lennox School District visited LMU, interviewing several players from the men's basketball team for their community newspaper, "Lennox Voices." This past month several players visited with students from Daniel Freeman Elementary School and the "I Have A Dream" Foundation program.

The article in Lennox Voices featuring LMU Basketball players is called "Growing Young Writers," authored by Program Coordinator, Rosalinda Barajas. The student journalists are a part of the Lennox School District English Language Development Intervention Program. The project-based program helps enhance students' abilities in listening, speaking, reading, writing and English language conventions. Spanish is the native language of many of the students in the program. In addition to conducting research, they interviewed professionals and wrote and published their work.

Among those interviewed was sophomore Tim Diederichs, who was interviewed by student journalist Jennifer Aguayo. She wrote an article entitled, "Learning about Tim." The article highlighted Tim's passion for basketball and how he wishes to be a businessman when he grows up.

Student Gerardo Mirando was excited to meet and interview senior Chris Kane, who stressed the importance of being a good student, staying focused and working hard to accomplish one's goals and dreams.

"Meet Drew," was an entertaining and clever piece about sophomore Drew Viney, written by student journalist Christian Espinoza. Viney emphasized the importance of having a good attitude even in times of defeat. He also revealed that he enjoys eating a nice, juicy steak after a long hard workout. The students from Lennox enjoyed interviewing the team and learned a lot about hard work and athleticism.

"As a coach and leader, I always stress the importance of developing young men to become good athletes and humanitarians," says Associate Head Coach Myke Scholl. "That's why we are so pleased kickoff LMU Cares and to participate in Project Knapsack. With these outstanding programs, our arms are literally reaching close to home and across the globe."

The interview session was just part of the activities as the students from Lennox Middle School helped launch LMU Cares partnership with Project Knapsack, a global pen pal exchange between students in the United States and Africa, specifically Zambia and South Africa.

"It has been an absolute pleasure partnering with students at Lennox Middle School," says Porcha Dodson, Founder of Project Knapsack. "Their literary talents and work ethic is admirable and should set an example for other students."

In February, the team visited with students at Daniel Freeman, helping the more than 30 children write letters to their "pen pals" in Africa. The students were responding to letters already written from the students at the partner schools in Africa.

This month LMU Cares and Project Knapsack will launch the second part of their global education initiative in Soweto, South Africa. Students at the Molalatandi Primary School will each receive their very own backpacks filled with school supplies and other essential learning tools. The LMU Men's Basketball Team and LMU Cares donated calculators, pocket dictionaries, maps, globes and a set of encyclopedias to the students in Soweto.




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