In the Community
UMass Boston hockey players don’t just read their opponents. For Coach Peter Belisle and his team, it’s also important to read children’s books to make sure that kids develop reading skills at an early age.
That is why for the past three years, Belisle and members of the team have read to children at UMass Boston’s Early Learning Center as part of Jumpstart’s national Read for the Record program.
Jumpstart is an early education organization that trains college students and community volunteers to help children in low-income neighborhoods develop the language and literacy skills they need to be successful in school. (According to Jumpstart, 50 percent of children start school up to two years behind their peers.) The children at the Early Learning Center range in age from 15 months to 6 years old.
“The guys have enjoyed it, and I enjoy it,” Belisle says. “I think we have more fun than the kids.”
“As part of the UMass Boston hockey program, we’re very involved with outreach in the community,” says captain Jimmy Ennis, a senior from Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood. “It’s a huge opportunity for the community as well as the school to interact with children and to teach them the values that UMass Boston stands for.”