Inspiration with Red Wings

BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer

Mahi Patel, fifth grade, racing the ball. Photo by Jessica Steeley

Pine Knob Elementary students learned about healthy living, the importance of education, and respect from the Detroit Red Wings event marketing team during an assembly.
“We go to 115 schools a year, delivering an assembly where we talk about education, the importance of living healthy by eating right and getting lots of exercise. We have an anti-bullying portion and we tie everything back into the sport of hockey with the Red Wings. We also play some interactive games with them,” Red Wings Event Marketing Assistant Ryan Stankus said.
The assembly is part of community outreach done by the team. Stankus added this is the program’s eighth year.
PKE Principal Jodi Yeloushan said they often try to bring in different assemblies to relate to students’ interest, including sports teams, theater and art.
“It’s an opportunity to hear somebody else. A large group of the students will identify with the speakers and what they’re talking about when they reference team members talking about good nutrition and fitness and being outside,” Yeloushan said. “Even if it hits one student, you change somebody’s life.”
Students had the opportunity to participate in different activities during the assembly, including a stick handling challenge and a teacher-student shoot out.
The kids got to keep the goalie net and equipment used after the assembly as well, to practice their skills.
Stankus hopes the Red Wings promoting positive messages to kids will help reinforce the ideas.
“Professional athletes are saying these same things – they need to stay in school, go to college, get a good education, stay healthy, make sure you’re exercising, respecting others, all of the important things,” he said. “They can tie it back in to ‘Hey, this is what one of my role models are doing.’”
Yeloushan added, “Any time you can bring the school together in one atmosphere to educate, learn and grow. It’s a great opportunity.”