Hockey is an incentive based sport. If you work hard, you often reap the benefits of that hard work. On April 2, the San Jose Sharks experienced this first-hand, after being down 2-0 to the Anaheim Ducks, they dug their skates in for the extra grit that was needed and stormed back to a 4-2 victory. The win was their third straight victory and moved the team within one game of clinching the Pacific Division and home ice for the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Those added incentives are not always needed, but it does show that occasionally the carrot at the end of the stick provides the extra push for individuals to excel to new heights.
On that same night, 10 lucky elementary students were also collecting their reward for hard work in the Sharks Foundation's Reading Is Cool program presented by Comerica Bank.
Each year, the program hosts a Top Readers Night at HP Pavilion at San Jose. The night is a congratulatory prize following a year of solid work and effort in the program. On this night, ten lucky students were chosen of the 22,000 participating in the program. These students demonstrated success in the program and were selected to enjoy a pizza party in a penthouse suite during the Sharks home game. The students had the opportunity to meet S.J. Sharkie while they were recognized for their achievement during an on-ice ceremony. Prior to the game, each child had the rare experience of welcoming every Sharks player as he skated on to the ice with a high-five. Besides the incredible experience, every kid went home with some great Sharks memorabilia and merchandise courtesy of the Sharks Foundation and Sharkie.
"To be recognized for something academic, for something that she spends hours each day doing and something that she loves was a big deal," said the mother of one of the recognized readers. "When she finished giving high-fives to the Sharks players as they came onto the ice, she came back to the suite and told her Dad that this was a 'once in a lifetime' experience. The Reading is Cool program is reinforcing reading as a cool activity for kids and is motivating them to read more than they might otherwise."
In a night that began and ended with high-fives being exchanged, both Sharks players in the dressing room and the lucky students up in the suite were finally being rewarded for hard work endured all season long.
Here is a list of the individual students:
|Name ||Grade ||School |
|Ginger K. ||3rd ||Brooktree School |
|Enrique R. ||2nd/3rd ||Jackson School |
|May Snow L. ||5th/6th ||Grimmer School |
|Amber K. ||3rd ||Tom Matsumoto |
|Jose Q. ||1st ||Cesar Chavez School |
|Jessica Z. ||4th ||Cherry Chase School |
|Arlin T. ||K ||Anthony Dorsa School |
|Grace L. ||5th ||Marshall Lane School |
|Edgar C. ||2nd ||Selma Olinder School |
|Hina C. ||4th ||Louise Van Meter School |