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Clemson Student-Athletes Visit Edwards Middle School

Clemson Student-Athletes Visit Edwards Middle School

Sept. 30, 2008

On Friday, September 26, several members of the Solid Orange Squad, Clemson University’s student-athlete community service organization, visited and ate lunch with students from Edwards Middle School. The Clemson student-athletes were in attendance to kick off the Tiger Talk e-mail buddy program, in which 21 students from Edwards will participate this year.

This is the first year that the program will involve middle school students, as it has previously involved elementary students. The Tiger Talk program consists of a Clemson University student-athlete acting as a mentor to a student by way of e-mail. All student-athletes involved in the program will be members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). Each week, the athlete and student will discuss a different character trait via e-mail. Ashley Clay of the Tiger women’s swimming and diving team wrote prompts that will be used to help guide discussions for the program.

The student-athletes that visited Edwards Middle School last week were Toni Kroll, Rachel Hesler, Ashley Clay and Alex Allen of the women’s swimming and diving team, Melanie McDaniel and Caitlin O’Neil of rowing, and Michael Feathers, Ashley Vaughn, Michaylin Golladay, Ashley Good, and Rochelle Kokayko of the track and field team. Following lunch, the athletes led activities involving the Be a T.I.G.E.R.! character traits and handed out biographies of the student-athletes that would be mentoring the students through the Tiger Talk program.

The Tiger Talk program is one of four components in Clemson’s Be a T.I.G.E.R.! character education program. The Be a T.I.G.E.R.! program is the only character education program in the country involving student athletes that we currently know of. Be a T.I.G.E.R! is designed to appeal to kindergarten through eighth grade students. Using the acronym for TIGER: T = Teamwork, I = Integrity, G = Gratitude, E = Education, and R = Respect, age appropriate lessons and activities have been designed using a sports format. Emphasizing these five character traits is the main focus of the program. Assembly programs, the annual Be a T.I.G.E.R.! Field Day, and the Be a T.I.G.E.R.! Newspaper are the other three components of the program.

For additional information about Tiger Talk or the Be a T.I.G.E.R! program, please contact Linda White at (864) 656-2095 or