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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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Beacons Giving Back

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Jimmy Ennis reads to the children of the UMB’s Early Learning Center.

With a loaded schedule of classes, games, and practices, it can sometimes be hard to find the time to give back, but this year, a number of Beacon teams have decided to take the time to volunteer with local charitable organizations. Here are the stories of squads that rolled up their sleeves and did some service.

Men’s ice hockey head coach Peter Belisle brought seven players to the UMB Early Learning Center to participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record program.

The program, which is presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, is helping to end America’s early education achievement gap. Currently there are over 2 million people taking part in the Read for the Record program. “This is our third year in a row and we really enjoy doing it. I think we have more fun than the kids,” said Belisle.

Belisle, along with Mark Grinhaus, Tim Richter, captain Jim Ennis, Scott Whitmyer, John Hubbard, Andrew Burke, and Cam Harvery, took time out of their mornings to read to the children of the UMB Learning Center as part of their continued support of both UMB and the local community.

The children who were between the ages of 15 months and 5 years old got a chance to ask the players and Belisle questions, as well as just hang out and enjoy some great stories. Every player who went to the Learning Center wore their game jerseys to show the kids what a college sweater looks like up close.

Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community volunteers to work with preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap.

The entire UMB women’s basketball team participated in the 2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in October. A total of 40,000 people participated in the walk, which raised more than $3 million.

“The fight against Breast Cancer is one that is very close to the hearts of many. The entire experience on Sunday was filled with moments that our team will never forget. The volunteers cheering on the sidelines – the thousands of women and men of every shape, size and ethnicity gathered for one cause… to end this terrible disease that has touched all of us in some way,” said women’s head basketball coach Courtney Mattingly.

The walk, which happens once every year, is a two-mile course that runs along the Charles River, and starts at the DCR Hatch Shell. The event, which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society, helps raise money to fund research in hopes of helping more people battle and beat this terrible disease.

For more information, or to donate to the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, go to http://makingstrides.acsevents.org.