By: Jessica Pyles, Nashville Predators Community Relations
This week the Nashville Predators Foundation stopped by a few of the organizations who received grants in the 2011-2012 season. Our first stop was to St. Luke’s Community House to volunteer with the Youth Encouragement Services (Y.E.S.) Reading Buddies program. Y.E.S. provides local children opportunities to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise have. They take the kids on fieldtrips, offer tutoring and homework help, provide summer camps and safe places to participate in organized sports- Y.E.S. plays host to an organized basketball league for both girls and boys through fall and winter.
The Reading Buddies program splits children up by age group and provides them with time and an area to read. For every 15 minutes of reading, the kids earn a sticker; if enough stickers are earned by the end of the Reading Buddies program, kids earn an ice cream party and prize pack.
The next stop was to visit one of the feature charities for the 2012-2013 hockey season- Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee (DLAC). We were able to learn a lot about what the DLAC does for the idle Tennessee community and how we can assist them during the upcoming season. For those who qualify, DLAC offers assistance on problems relating to disabilities, such as discrimination for housing or employment, access to mental health and rehabilitation services, and access to programs that promote employment and independent living.
The DLAC is launching an anti-bullying clinic series in the coming months, and the Predators Foundation is excited to be a part of it. Bullying is a huge problem for not only normally developed children but special needs kids and adults as well. The clinic will offer breakout sessions for kids to teach them not only how to deal with bullies and how to report them, but also how to not be a bully to others. Parents will also have a chance to get more information on what to do and where to turn if they believe their child is being bullied.
We finished the week with a trip to visit Camp Rainbow, who was a part of our DEX Imaging Score and Winn program this past season. Camp Rainbow hosts kids who are unable to physically attend traditional summer camps due to disabilities, terminal or severe illnesses. The smiles on the kids’ faces when Gnash got up on stage and went around visiting the kids really made us proud to be a part of the Predators organization. It was so humbling to see what a little time and effort can do for these children.
It’s exciting to see people become heroes for their neighbors every day in the Nashville community, and the Predators are happy to play a part in the growth of the Nashville community.