SAAC Helps Willamette Tree of Giving Book Drive for Grant Community School

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Members of the Willamette University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) participated in the Willamette Tree of Giving Book Drive this year by donating books. A total of 80 books were provided to Grant Community School in Salem, Ore., as a result of the book drive.

All of the books were delivered to students and teachers at Grant Community School by Tree of Giving organizer Melissa Treichel, Hatfield Library access services manager, and by SAAC representatives Sarah McSweeney (SAAC co-president, cross country/track and field) and Alfredo Zuniga (men's soccer).

Others attending the event were Alice French, Hatfield Library technical services specialist, and Judy Gordon, assistant athletics director and SAAC advisor.

In addition to delivering the books, the group from Willamette also displayed the books on tables for the fourth graders to see when they entered the library. After the Grant students enjoyed the books for a while, McSweeney and Zuniga gathered the students together and read I Need My Monster to the group, with much interaction during and after the reading.

The students from Grant also asked a variety of questions including:
Is college hard?
Does Willamette have separate teams for girls and boys?
Which sports involved Sara and Alfredo?

In addition, the Grant students called out the names of their favorite sports. Soccer and dodgeball ranked high on their lists.

The most popular books, which were donated in both English and Spanish versions, were the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Grant Community School's librarian expressed her gratitude for the much needed donations to their library. In addition to the books, donations of hats, gloves and scarves were collected and delivered to Grant. McSweeney and Zuniga displayed a large poster which was signed by SAAC representatives, who included special messages about the power and joy of reading. SAAC members are looking forward to being sponsors of the Tree of Giving Book Drive next year.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was created to provide insight into the student-athlete experience at Willamette. SAAC members provide input to help the Athletics Department and Willamette University develop rules, regulations and polices that affect student-athletes.

Willamette students Alfredo Zuniga (with book) and Sarah McSweeney (right) read to students at Grant Community School.

Willamette students Alfredo Zuniga (with book) and Sarah McSweeney (right) read to students at Grant Community School.

The Willamette Tree of Giving Book Drive provided 80 books to Grant Community School.

The Willamette Tree of Giving Book Drive provided 80 books to Grant Community School.

Sarah McSweeney (left) and Alfredo Zuniga (right) each read parts of I Need My Monster.

Sarah McSweeney (left) and Alfredo Zuniga (right) each read parts of I Need My Monster.