PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On Saturday, September 25th, the BIG EAST Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) performed a Community Service Day with Children’s Friend. Sixteen student-athletes and one DI National SAAC representative, each representing the sixteen BIG EAST Conference schools, visited the Children’s Friend Friendship Head Start Center and provided games, activities, and snacks for 75 children ages 1-6.
The community service event, coordinated through Children’s Friend, was the result of the student-athletes desire to take on a meaningful community service activity, and was planned in conjunction with the annual SAAC meeting that takes place at the BIG EAST Conference headquarters in Providence, R.I. One student-athlete from each of the sixteen schools’ SAAC organization is represented at the annual meeting. This year’s meeting featured guest speaker, John Sullivan, Psy.D, a clinical sport psychologist, whose attendance was made possible through a grant awarded by the NCAA Educational Affairs Grant Program. SAAC members, guided by the principles of ethics, integrity, sportsmanship and a respect for diversity, play a leadership role in promoting community service at the campus level.
Jennifer Condaras, Assistant Commissioner for Compliance at the BIG EAST said, “Our student-athletes are all about wanting to give back to the community, so there was never any hesitation when we asked the group if they would be interested in participating in an activity such as ‘Kids In Action Day’. The student-athletes that attended our SAAC meeting last fall had such a great time playing with the kids that they voted to work with Children’s Friend again this year. Kenny Schank, Assistant Director of Compliance, did a terrific job of coordinating the efforts for the event. Everyone had a wonderful time and the weather was perfect.”
President and Chief Executive Office of Children’s Friend, David Caprio, stated that “This year’s Kids In Action event was even more successful than last year’s. We had a great turnout for this action-packed day. The student leaders from the BIG EAST are wonderful role models for our kids. It is events like these and organizations like the BIG EAST that make a positive difference in the lives of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable children.”
About Children’s Friend
A non-profit organization founded in 1834, Children's Friend is Rhode Island's oldest child welfare organization and a leading provider of child welfare, family support, mental health, and youth development services. Children's Friend served more than 17,500 of Rhode Island's most vulnerable children and their families in 2008. The agency's programs range from Adoption, Foster Care, Birth Parent Counseling, Child Care, and Adoption Support and Preservation to Dads Making A Difference, Early Head Start, Head Start, Early Intervention, Family Counseling and Project Connect. In 2009, Children's Friend celebrated its 175th
anniversary with events and programs designed to honor its heritage, highlight its work, and build upon past accomplishments. For more information, log on to www.cfsri.org
About the BIG EAST Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
The BIG EAST Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) serves as the voice of student-athletes hailing from sixteen member institutions and competing in twenty-four conference sponsored championships. In doing so, the committee’s mission is to improve the communication with all student-athletes at member institutions as well as between institutions, take an active role understanding and providing feedback regarding NCAA and Conference legislation, and promote student-athlete well-being, academic achievement, personal development and community service.