Cody Whitehair, Danzel McDaniel, Charmeachealle Moore and Daniel Sams visit with a class at Panda Preschool (Photo by Kelly McHugh/K-State Athletics)
March 12, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
The K-State football team saw a change of scenery this month as it spent time visiting students at local elementary and preschools.
Filled with mini desks, mini chairs and toys tucked away in corners, the schools' classrooms are far different than the ones the football student-athletes are used to learning in every day at K-State, but that didn't stop them from jumping right in and getting involved.
Whether it was reading with children, singing their favorite songs or just hanging out and eating snacks, a good time was had by all 62 student-athletes who visited the schools over the course of the month.
"It was amazing. We had a lot of fun," laughed Charmeachealle Moore just after he said goodbye to the class he worked with at Panda Preschool. "We played with play dough. My group made a play dough family - we made the sun, a house, a mom, dad, two siblings and even a dog. I love seeing the little kids and their smiling faces. They're all looking up to us, so we all had a really good time."
Along with Moore, Daniel Sams, Cody Whitehair and Danzel McDaniel also visited with Mrs. Sara Steenbock's preschool class.
"It's been great, the kids love it," Steenbock said. "They're really excited, and they kind of get wound up, but the interactions are great. The players have done a really great job of interacting with the kids and just doing whatever we ask them to do. The kids ask questions about what the football players do and the players will ask questions about the kids, so it's just fun to see them interact."
The group played with a colorful parachute in the classroom before heading outdoors for recess. During recess, it was game-on as the football players and children threw footballs and raced outdoors.
"I've got cousins this age, so it's always fun to come and interact with the kids," Whitehair said. "My favorite part was how they reacted to us walking in the door and how they had fun when we did the dances with them. They liked to hold our hands."
Sams laughed in agreement. A half hour earlier, he and Whitehair were skipping across the classroom dancing to "The Spooky Song" with the group of four and five year olds.
"My mom back home, she teaches kindergarten, so that's the only time I'd been around kids like this," Sams explained. "I enjoyed it. It's innocent fun. They say whatever's on their mind."
While at the end of the day Steenbock's preschool class left school knowing a little bit more about football, Moore, Sams, Whitehair and McDaniel, along with all of the other football players who visited classrooms across the community, made a new group of little friends who they won't soon forget.