News & Events

Men’s Soccer Players Share Experiences With Area Students

May 19, 2009

Throughout the spring semester, members of Hartwick’s men’s soccer team have shared their experiences and knowledge of the world with students at Oneonta’s Center Street Elementary School. Organized by the team’s goalie, Jeremy Vuolo ’10, the players took turns visiting classrooms to talk about their hometowns.

With players from England, California, Texas, Canada, Pennsylvania, Scotland, and New Zealand, they were able to share stories, traditions, and facts about places most of the young students haven’t experienced themselves.

“It was an opportunity to educate the children about different world cultures in a fun and exciting way,” Vuolo said. “With so many players coming from diverse backgrounds and cultures, the children would be receptive to hearing them talk and asking them questions.”

Earlier this month, Nick Roydhouse ’12 and Michael Cunningham ’10 took their turn speaking to second-graders about their homeland of New Zealand. Alongside Center Street School Principal John Cook, the players fielded questions about their country’s food, sports, animals, education, and entertainment. As each explained kiwi birds and where their hometowns are located—Roydhouse hails from the country’s North Island, Cunningham from the South—the class’ teachers pulled up images to help students better understand what they were learning about.

“The students had the chance to get a break from their classes and have fun asking questions and listening to the players,” Vuolo said. “The experience was one that will be remembered by them for a very long time, if not the rest of their lives. Rather than reading about New Zealand from a textbook, they were able to learn about New Zealand from real, live New Zealanders.”

The semester-long project was born of Vuolo’s belief that the team has a responsibility to make a positive impact on the Oneonta community, he said. After meeting with President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich and men’s soccer Head Coach Ian McIntyre to discuss projects for the team, Vuolo sat down with Cook to hash out the details for players to give presentations about themselves to different classes.

In all, 10 players met with students at Center Street School. In addition to Cunningham, Roydhouse, and Vuolo were Dan Summers ’12 (England), Jake Wright ’11 (California), Owen Botting ’10 (England), Evan Doan ’11 (Texas), Carson Pryde ’11 (Canada), Brian Gordon ’10 (Scotland), and Sam Wright ’10 (England).

“The players responded with a sense of self-fulfillment that they positively impacted the students by becoming examples of what they could accomplish if they follow their dreams, work hard, and never give up,” Vuolo said. “It is a reminder to the players that many children look up to them as role models and they should act in a way that is admirable. Children’s minds are easily influenced, and we as players have a great responsibility to influence them the right way.”

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Jennifer Moritz
Phone: 607-431-4038