Community Service Projects have been a tradition among the teams at Union. Every year each one of the 25 intercollegiate athletic teams participates in some sort of community service project. This year the volleyball team, as well as several other student-athletes, took part in the annual “Read Across America” project which gives college students an opportunity to read to young elementary students.
“This is something my team participated in for the two years I was at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia,” said head coach Sandy Collins, who led the volleyball team to their first New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association postseason tournament berth since 1966.
“It is important for student-athletes to be role models and convey the message that reading is an important activity, something that you will use throughout your life.
“The youngsters look forward to spending time with the athletes,” Collins continued. “It makes them work harder and it lets them see the accomplishments of the college students. It gives them another adult in their lives who care about them and gives them some else who is telling them what they can accomplish if they work hard and do their best. Sometimes it is important to hear that from someone other than their parents and teachers.”<br
Collins, head field hockey coach Tracy Barclay, and the Union student-athletes traveled to the Slingerlands Elementary School in nearby Delmar to read with a kindergarten and a second grade class in March. A total of 11 student-athletes from the volleyball, softball, women's lacrosse, men's swim and women's swim teams participated.