Nov. 11, 2010
One of the many community service opportunities offered at Clemson is the student-athlete online mentoring program, also known as T.I.G.E.R. Talk. A student-athlete is randomly paired with a sixth, seventh or eighth grade student from a school that has signed up for the mentoring program. Each week, the paired `buddies’ discuss one of the character traits to help instill that trait in the child’s life and encourage them to put forth their best effort to be successful.
The program focuses on five character traits: Teamwork, Integrity, Gratitude, Education and Respect. The student-athlete discusses what each of the character traits mean to them and how they play a role in not only their sport, but their everyday life.
The Solid Orange Squad is partnered with the Eugene Moore School of Education and utilizes their “My Digital Express” program, which allows the communication between child and mentor to be safe and secure.
Swimmer Kelly Fowler is in charge of overseeing the entire T.I.G.E.R. Talk program, from meeting with each school and student-athlete, to connecting the athletes with their child. Kelly currently has three wonderful schools signed up to participate in the mentoring program this year: Lakeside Middle School in Anderson, Woodmont Middle School in Greenville County and Ewing Middle School in Gaffney.
Each school has a student-athlete administrator that makes sure that the student-athletes respond to their buddies each week. These administrators help to ensure that the program runs smoothly and that, if there are any problems, they be resolved.
The administrator for Lakeside Middle is Garrison Stevens. This school has previously been with the program and is excited to have even more students able to participate in the program this year. Kerry McLaughlin is the administrator for Woodmont Middle. This school is new to the program this year with seven students and we are looking forward to having even more students participate in the program in the future. Our third school, Ewing Middle, has so many interested students participating in the program that we have to have two administrators! They are Kristen Redmond and Deanna Piper.
The program will be starting the week of October 18 and will be approximately 18 weeks long. Throughout the program, the students will receive incentives, such as a tiger water bottle or tiger rag, when they complete certain stages of the program.
Once the program has been completed, the students at each of the schools will be invited to come to Clemson for the Spring Football Game. They will also be able to meet their student-athlete buddy in person. This is a very exciting and eventful day. We are looking forward to having more schools join the program within the next few weeks.
For more information concerning the T.I.G.E.R. Talk program or other programs offered by the Solid Orange Squad and the Community Relations office, please contact Linda White or visit ClemsonTigers.com and look for our webpage under the Community Service link.
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