The Vermont Lumberjacks Premier Team began their weekly visits to JFK Elementary in Winooski, Vermont on Thursday morning, September 22nd with the third grade class. This is a tradition the Lumberjacks have kept for the past three seasons since moving to Burlington Vermont
The team filed into the auditorium in front of sixty wide-eyed and excited third graders and stood up in the front of the room for all to see.
A discussion began with what each of the team members’ hopes and dreams were; their aspirations of playing college hockey while others shared their desire to one day being in the Special Forces. They went on to tell them how old they were when they started playing hockey as well as share what kind of pets they have with the children.
After introductions, Head Coach Doc DelCastillo gave a short talk expressing the importance of goal setting, reading, math, science, and just how important an education is in general for one’s life.
“We want our guys to get out into the community and be role models,” DelCastillo said. “If we can reach the kids in the school and demonstrate that reading, math and science are very very important, we can then encourage the youngsters to have goals and aspirations in whatever passion they might have in life. It’s great for our guys to be able to give back in a setting such as the classroom. ”
Lisa Goetz, one of the third grade teachers at JFK, is exuberant to have the Lumberjacks return to the school for another year.
“It’s so great for the kids to have mentors that are college age who are encouraging the children to work hard, study hard, and go for their dreams and goals,” Goetz said. “I think it’s so great for the hockey players to come in and be involved in the community as well, they are phenomenal.”
Elite Head Coach Jim Moss is thrilled to have the Lumberjacks back at JFK helping out again and said, “Anytime you give young people the ability to give back to the community it is a positive thing. It also teaches them to appreciate what they do have and maybe help them to remember where they came from. Each member of our team has come to Burlington to pursue a dream and it’s nice to be able to look around and appreciate what you have around you.”
A small group of five to six players from the Lumberjacks Premier Team will return to JFK Elementary every Thursday morning for the remainder of the hockey season. Each week a different group of Lumberjacks will participate where they will be split up amongst the students during their day-to-day activities and assisting them at their stations.
PHOTO GALLERY BELOW!