The University of North Carolina at Pembroke was selected as the co-recipient of the first Wachovia Foundation Creative Connection Education Award.
At the Peach Belt Conference annual spring meeting, UNCP received the award with the University of Montevallo. The schools participated in the Wachovia Foundation Positive Benefits for Children Program and held collaborative events with local elementary and middle schools in their communities this spring.
The award honors institutions and student-athletes who have demonstrated unique ways to make a positive impact on elementary and middle school students.
UNCP worked with UNCP’s faculty associates program and the Kiwanis Club of Lumberton/Robeson County to distribute books to each of the 43 elementary schools in Robeson County.
Faculty member Dr. Steven Bourquin, a faculty associate and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, said the faculty associates program is “involved in every day aspects of the student-athlete’s life.”
Dr. Bourquin joined UNCP athletes and Athletic Director Dan Kenney in a program for Pembroke Elementary school in March.
“The second graders and the teachers truly appreciated the athletes giving their time to read poetry written by Dr. Seuss,” Dr. Bourquin said. “It was a pleasure to share this moment with Dan Kenney, UNCP athletes and elementary school teachers and students.
“Being a member of the Lumberton Kiwanis Club is similar to being a faculty associate because serving the students and the children are the top priority,” he continued.
For Athletic Director Dan Kenney, community service is part of the student-athlete package.
“Giving back to the community is a core value for not only UNCP but the Athletic Department,” Kenney said. “This project would not have been possible without the support of Lumberton Kiwanis Club, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the support of Faculty Associate Dr. Steven Bourquin.”
For some second graders at Pembroke Elementary it was their first-ever book. The program gave UNCP student-athletes the opportunity to be role models for youth in their community.
The award came with a $500 grant for Pembroke Elementary School and UNCP athletics.