Images from: Lorrie Cecil/ThisWeek Community News
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Last week, the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team visited Taylor Road Elementary School after receiving a letter from Heather Slisher’s third-grade class. ThisWeek Community News covered the story and spoke to senior captain, Olivia Soares about the importance of community and spreading the sport of hockey with young girls and boys.
Ohio State women’s hockey team delivers ‘fan mail,’ surprise to Taylor Road students
By Kelley Youman, ThisWeek Community News
Posted March 16, 2020
It’s difficult to not be motivated by a championship team, especially when the players are surprise guests to the classroom.
The March 10 visit from the Ohio State University women’s hockey team was the latest piece of “fan mail” received by Heather Slisher’s third-grade class at Taylor Road Elementary School, 8200 Taylor Road.
This year, Slisher structured her reviews for state math and reading assessments around hockey themes, using sports analogies to encourage her students.
“It started as a way to alleviate the students’ fears of having to pass the state tests” coming up next month, Slisher said. “This school year, we went to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Science of Hockey Day, so I thought it would be great to switch my test-prep theme to hockey.
“For some of my students, that day was the first time they’ve ever been in Nationwide Arena, let alone seen an ice rink. Part of the day involved taking the students on the ice, and they got to see some CBJ players practice.”
Each student in Slisher’s class created a hockey jersey using the school’s makerspace.
They plan to wear the personalized hockey sweaters on test days “because athletes have to have a uniform,” Slisher said.
“I told them we were entering training camp to prepare for our state tests — aka the big game,” she said. “Just like any good athlete, practice is essential. It’s the same thing when it comes to education; you have to practice. This is something that hooks them and gets their attention.”
In January, Slisher sent letters to the professional and college hockey teams in the state, detailing her class’ plan to “shoot and score.”
“I asked them for ‘fan mail,’ and I said it could be a letter wishing us good luck, a picture of the team or something to decorate our classroom,” Slisher said. “I told the teams that the possibilities are endless and if they wanted to deliver the fan mail in person, we’d love visitors.”
She soon received replies.
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