MONTGOMERY, Ala. – With the basketball season just one week away, the Auburn University at Montgomery women's basketball program recently spent a day making a difference for children at the Molina Reading Center.
For the last 14 years, the Lady Senators have taken part in a service event known as Make a Difference Day by volunteering, reading and spending time with the children at the center. The concept of the event is to provide local youth with an opportunity to improve their own personal library of books, but in the process, they read and interact with members of the AUM team.
"I believe it is a great opportunity to reach out the community and to be positive role models to young boys and girls," said senior Haley McIntyre.
The Lady Senators partner each year with Dr. Nancy Anderson, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Actions Build Community program, for the Make a Difference Day.
"It has become a tradition in the program, and something that we look forward to every year," Head Coach Dan Davis said. "We enjoy seeing the kids from year to year and watching them grow. We recognize one another and build a relationship with them through reading. It is a fun event that the team enjoys."
The children of Molina are not the only people that are rewarded by the experience, as AUM's student-athletes also benefit.
"Giving back to the community is a priceless opportunity, and Make a Difference Day made a difference in my life," said sophomore Kamesha Strong. "Helping the young children read is a great outreach project because you are enhancing another generations learning experience."
"Make a Difference Day is an event I am grateful to be a part of," sophomore Candace Dyer said. "We are giving back to our community in small, but effective ways. The kids' eyes light up when they see the AUM women's basketball team walk through the door, and that says a lot about our program."
The Lady Senators will officially open their 2010-11 season on Thursday, Nov. 4, when they host Selma University at 6 p.m.