Coming off their win over Richmond and entering the bye week, Virginia Tech football players stayed busy Monday morning when they volunteered at Margaret Beeks Elementary School to help children with their reading skills..
“Any time I get the opportunity to come and give back to the kids, I always want to do it,” said offensive lineman and team captain Tyrell Smith. “I love giving back to the kids and putting a smile on their faces because, the way I look at it, they’re the future. Showing them that they can look up to us and go through different things in college and in life, I think it’;s a good thing to do.”
Smith and his teammates volunteered at Margaret Beeks Elementary School’s Book Buffet where students could select a book to read and take it to breakfast. Virginia Tech players assisted the students in choosing a book, sharing which books they liked to read as a kid with the hope of inspiring the younger generation to continue to read.
“It’s not what I expected from the big, bad football players to come up here and be so amazing with the kids,” said Beeks Elementary’s principal Dr. Beth Poff. “They’re really invested in taking time to talk to the kids, I’ve seen them read books to the kids before. For the kids to actually be able to interact with them and see that they’re real people and they love books too is amazing.”
The players greeted the students as they arrived at school, handing out high-fives and taking them to select a book. After each student had a book, the Hokies escorted them to breakfast and their classrooms.
“It just brings back so many memories for me from when I was a kid, walking these halls,” said offensive lineman Lecitus Smith. “I just wish I had older college players show up to my school. That would have been very inspiring to me as a young kid, and I know we inspired some young kids here today.”
On the team’s off-day during its bye week, Tech had over 10 players volunteer to participate at 8:30 a.m. and serve as role models for the elementary students, embodying Virginia Tech’s motto of “Ut Prosim” (That I may serve).
“To really show these kids how important it is to stay in school, you can’t get anything better than that,” said defensive lineman Josh Fuga.