A UIU Peacock student-athlete talks with area students about the importance of making good choices at the recent UIU Mentoring Field Day. Numerous UIU student-athletes are involved in community service projects such as the mentoring field day and the Peacock Pen Pals program.
Dear Pen Pal,
How are you? We are learning about penguins. There are 17 different kinds of penguins. Do you like Christmas? What did you get from Santa? When is your birthday? Do you have a sister? Do you have two dogs? I have two dogs. Do you have a cat? I have a cat.
FAYETTE, Iowa (March 27, 2013) – With each new volleyball season comes new drills, new goals and new workouts. This year, the Upper Iowa University Peacock Women's Volleyball team decided to add new friends to the mix as well through the recently implemented Peacock Pen Pals program.
With the goal of increasing UIU student-athletes' affinity for community service and being positive role models to younger children, a pen pal program was forged between the volleyball team and elementary classrooms in the Clarksville and North Fayette school districts.
Since before Thanksgiving, letters have been flying back and forth between the 17 participating UIU players and boys and girls in the schools.
"Our pen pals ask us a lot of questions," said Amanda Weiss, a sophomore defensive specialist for the Peacock volleyball team from West Bend, Wis. "Sometimes the questions seem random, but a lot of the time it reflects what they're doing in school and shows what interests them."
UIU Assistant Volleyball Coach Kasey Uran and Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services Brandi Rideout developed the pen pal program. "Pen pal letters give the elementary students an opportunity to work on reading and writing skills and allows our Peacock student-athletes to be a positive role model to local students," said Uran.
In February, the team met their North Fayette pen pals at the elementary school where they discussed possible careers in which the children might be interested.
"I really liked meeting my pen pal," said Sydney Cyzon, a sophomore defensive specialist from De Pere, Wis. "It was great to match his face and personality to his letters."
In addition to Peacock Pen Pals, the volleyball team assisted at the recent UIU Mentoring Field Day where Peacock student-athletes from seven sports interacted with area children in a day-long event that was focused on academics, teamwork, nutrition, fitness, leadership, decision making and hard work
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to some 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing