Council Bluffs, IA -- The Iowa Western men's basketball team reached out to the young boys and girls at Hoover Elementary Wednesday (11/28/18) afternoon to encourage and stress the important of education.
The "Slam Dunk Attendance" program put on by members of the Hoover Elementary teachers and staff stressed the relationship between class attendance and overall school performance, as 103 young people where recognized for having perfect attendance throughout the first trimester of the academic year. Along with recognizing those efforts, all other students at the assembly were encouraged to do the same this new trimester.
Head Men's Basketball Coach Michael Johnette had a few moments to address the youth and spoke of the importance of an education and to have gratitude for their teachers as well as the support they all receive from home to be given a chance to get a quality education right here in Council Bluffs. He presented the assembly an example of how sought after an American Education truly is; by bringing with him four young men from this season's Reiver Basketball team who have come to America for just that same education that is already possible for these local children. Emmanuel Ugboh (Nigeria), Amadou Sylla (Mali), Andre Silva (Brazil), and Esahia Nyiwe (from Omaha, NE but of Sudanese decent) all exchanged friendly "hellos" to the children in their original native language, to the laughs and chuckles of the young boys and girls there.
After the message of the importance of education and gratitude towards others was delivered, the Reiver Basketball players began to put on a slam dunk performance for the young people. To the delight of all, each Reiver dunked the ball several times; then began to pull students out of the excited crowd to help them with passes for dunks.
Lynette Peterson, Hoover's School Administrative Manager who organized the event, was pleased with the excitement both the students showed as well as the Reivers themselves, who's outgoing personalities shown through with the elementary kids. With all the fun, laughing, yelling, and excitement; the achievements and importance of the day was not lost on Peterson, "We love to celebrate attendance. Each month last year we were the number one school in average daily attendance. We work very hard for attendance because it's so important for their education. We have fantastic families who know education is important. We have amazing teachers and staff that make students feel important and work hard to make learning fun."
And on this late November Wednesday afternoon, the Iowa Western Reivers made learning fun for those young kids too.