Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific Athletic Department took part in the 22nd Annual Rotary Read-In on Thursday, Feb. 28 as one of hundreds of vonluteer organizations participated in the event in 2013. Sponsored by the five Stockton-area Rotary Clubs and supported by Barnes & Noble, a total of 807 community volunteers read to Kindergarten through 3rd Grade classes at 58 Stockton Unified and Lincoln Unified elementary schools this year.
"Thanks for giving us the opportunity to give back to the community," said women's tennis junior Susan Te. "I always love attending events like the Rotary Read-In because it is such a rewarding experience. It's a really great feeling to see how excited the kids are to have a college athlete read to them and see how much they look up to you. It's really hard not to enjoy your time with the students and leave without a smile because of the enthusiasm and excitement that fills each and every room."
Jim Dugoni, Pacific’s associate director of athletics for development, who helped to organize this year’s volunteer efforts on behalf of his North Stockton Rotary Club, had the following to say about this year’s Rotary Read-In, "Pacific Athletics had twenty-five (25) volunteers this year with 13 student-athlete readers from a variety of sports along with another dozen readers from the Pacific Athletic Department including administrators, support staff, head coaches and assistant coaches. Thank you to everyone for their enthusiastic participation this year. Over the years, Rotary has received a great deal of positive feedback from the students, teachers and elementary schools who have been touched by the Rotary Read-In."
Rotary International was founded in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris and its main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations.
"I am proud of the commitment of our student-athletes to support and give back to their Stockton community," stated Danielle Neault, Pacific's Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Services. "Student-athletes have a lot on their plates balancing academics and their sport, yet they still find the time to give back to their community. Inspiring and mentoring young students is important to their future. Many of the student-athletes are eager to be involved again soon."
This year, the Tigers read to children at Don Riggio Elementary as well as children at San Joaquin Elementary School. Pacific sent both student-athletes as well as staff and administrators to the schools around Stockton to take part in the annual event.