By Marty Gordon
For second year in a row, the Blue Demon girls’ basketball team is receiving some extra support from students at Christiansburg Primary School. On the court, the players have had a very successful season, but it might be their relationship with some young fans that is making an even bigger difference than victories in the win column.
Kathy Meadows is a primary teacher who started the “pen pal” idea last year. This past fall, she was contacted by the girls’ basketball boosters who wanted to be pen pals again with her second-grade students.
Shortly after agreeing, the class began writing. Second grade Standards of Learning (SOL) requires students to be able to write a friendly letter.
“Becoming pen pals with the teams, allowed my students to begin writing lessons. Matched with a basketball player, the students introduced themselves and waited with anticipation for responses. The players replied and letters continue to go back and forth,” Meadows said.
After the winter break, the players and students met for the first time.
The pens pals had an opportunity to chat with one another and finally put faces to names. As a class, the students were invited to attend the recent Lady Blue Demon/Lord Botetourt game.
They made posters and banners to prepare for the game. The students cheered the Lady Demons on, and between the JV and varsity game, they were invited to come onto the court before the national anthem.
“Our class was also announced as the pen pals to the girls to the fans. It was a honor to be able to participate and the kids had a blast. My class will continue writing and encouraging the players. Our hope is that we would be able to invite them back to school so that we could visit again,” Meadows said.
As part of the relationship, the players hope to attend more classes and maybe read to the group in the near future.
The pen pal program aims to provide a positive impact not only on the second graders, but also the basketball players themselves.