The Be a T.I.G.E.R! character education program has various components that Clemson student-athletes help coordinate and conduct throughout the school year. Over the next week, the Community Relations page on ClemsonTigers.com will focus on each component individually, so that readers have the opportunity to learn more about the programs offered.
The first component is T.I.G.E.R! Read. T.I.G.E.R! Read was first implemented in 2011-12 with a partnership between Central Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School and The Solid Orange Squad. Upon completion of the program last year, Central Elementary received the ACC Connection Partnership Award to help buy books for this program.
The basic principle behind the program is to encourage reading while teaching the five character traits of a true T.I.G.E.R. (Teamwork, Integrity, Gratitude, Education, Respect). Sarah Egan was the originator of T.I.G.E.R! Read and will continue to be the coordinator of the program this year.
To begin the program, the Solid Orange Squad and Clemson’s literature students partnered to research and find books that represented each of the character education traits. Once five books were chosen, videos were created for students to watch. Various Clemson student-athletes were filmed talking about the specific character trait for each book.
Next, the elementary school students read the books. Upon finishing the books, the students watched another video that challenged them with an assignment related to the book. For example, after reading the book focused on integrity, the students were to draw a cartoon in which the characters were demonstrating integrity.
After each completed book and assignment, students received a prize. If they completed the entire program, they earned the opportunity to attend a party and basketball game with the Clemson student-athletes involved in the program. Last year, Egan also organized student-athletes to visit the elementary schools and read to the students once a week.
This year, T.I.G.E.R! Read will be continuing its partnership with Blue Ridge Elementary for a second year. Blue Ridge has an exciting plan to implement the newest addition to the program called “Earn Your Stripes”. This is the same concept as T.I.G.E.R! Read, but geared to a younger age group. Egan worked with a reading specialist in her hometown over the summer to research books that could be used with first- through third-graders.
Videos are soon to be available on the Be a T.I.G.E.R! program’s YouTube page. If your student would like to participate in the program, please contact Linda White at email@example.com. This program can be participated in independent of a school.
February 2, 2023