On Monday, October 21, 4th Grade students in Mrs. Gervolino’s class at the Frank Antonides School had the opportunity to meet four football players from the Monmouth University Football Team. As part of the football team’s community outreach effort, squad members Andrew Sutton, Matt Stoneberg, Jack Huntsman, and Zach Welch, read short stories to the fourth graders and got to spend time serving as positive role models for the students.
The fourth graders were certainly a receptive audience and thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Mrs. Gervolino, the students’ English Language Arts Teacher, praised the event stating, “It was such a wonderful experience and community connection. Seeing the faces on all of the children as these college football players read some of their favorite books was priceless. They were so excited and engaged. They didn’t want the experience to end.” Mrs. Shaw, Principal of Frank Antonides, echoed these sentiments. “This event was a terrific example of the positive relationship between the school and the West Long Branch community. The young men that came to our school today are superior role models for our students in their dedication, motivation, and enthusiasm for their sport and their academics. Our fourth graders were simply in awe of these athletes.” Fourth grader, Parker Grimm, stated, “Seeing the Monmouth University football players was a big surprise. I can’t explain it in words. It was just so exciting!”
Players from the team will continue to visit Frank Antonides School over the course of next six weeks in an effort to promote literacy and further foster the relationship between the school and West Long Branch community.