FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Classroom, competition and community: The three C’s where Razorback student-athletes strive for excellence.
In the past two weeks, student-athletes have been busy participating in events benefiting children and veterans throughout Northwest Arkansas, such as the Book Hogs Kickoff, a Valentine’s Day party at Arkansas Children’s Hospital – Lowell Clinic, and the Salute to Veterans Valentine’s Day Celebration at Fayetteville VA Medical Center.
On Feb. 5, the 14th annual Book Hogs Kickoff began at Leverett Elementary School in Fayetteville where Razorback student-athletes took part in the Book Hogs Read To Win Program. The initiative calls for student-athletes to visit nine area elementary schools and have talks with children from kindergarten to fifth grade about the importance of reading.
In order to further encourage reading, a contest is held in each participating elementary school where students have the opportunity to become a Book Hogs member by reading a total of 360 minutes during the month of February.
The nine elementary schools will each select one Book Hogs grand prize winner to be honored at a Razorback baseball game on April 2. Prizes include a photo with Arkansas head baseball coach Dave Van Horn and three tickets to a home baseball game and a $40 voucher for snacks at Baum Stadium. Student-athletes also will return to the grand prize winner’s school and read to their class along with having lunch with the pupils.
In addition, the class from each school that reads for the most minutes will win a grand prize that includes an ice cream social at Bud Walton Arena in April where student-athletes will be present to sign autographs.
Valentine’s Day festivities with children and veterans
Student-athletes also visited the Arkansas Children’s Hospital – Lowell Clinic on Feb. 11 and the Fayetteville VA Medical Center on Feb. 12 as part of Valentine’s Day festivities with patients in each facility.
This is the third year student-athletes have attended the event at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the 12th year at the VA Medical Center.
Razorback Soccer has been active in making regular visits to the children’s hospital along with members of the football, men’s tennis, women’s track, and softball teams during the past three years.
Freshman sprints runner Kiara Parker and junior throws athlete Micah Dennis from the women’s track and field team, along with junior football wide receiver Cody Hollister visited veterans at the VA Medical Center and took photos and signed autographs with those who’ve served our country.
“Whenever we as student-athletes are willing to take time and step away from our routines, we gain perspective on what actually matters in life,” said sophomore tennis player Branch Terrell.