Inside Athletics : Community Engagement

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Handprints For Hope

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT POSITION STATEMENT

PNW offers intercollegiate athletic events as a means of partnership with the broader campus community, Northwest Indiana and beyond. Our student-athletes and coaches regularly give back in meaningful ways and are provided opportunities to be outstanding citizens, leaders, and contributors in the community.  The objective of our community engagement is for our student-athletes, coaches and staff to build relationships that bring regional constituents to our Hammond and Westville campuses.  Quite simply, we invite, gather and engage the PNW community to participate in our programs, competitions and success in a meaningful way. 

PNW Athletics is pleased to share that over 200 student-athletes are engaged in community engagement activities including the R-Dub Club (a reading and writing program in local elementary schools), Make-a-Wish Foundation, Humane Society, Special Olympics and Northwest Indiana Food Bank.  Additionally, in 2017-18 in which over 2,000 hours of community service was accumulated, PNW student-athletes gave back at Kids Day, volunteered for Real Strong Girls (United Way), assisted with a Disability Prom and various other volunteer/charitable activities.  Below is a list of 2017-18 community engagement activities:

PNW Community Service: 2017-18 Year in Review

• The entire athletic department started the year by assisting housing during the student move-in days. 

• The softball team hosted a Spooktacular event in which they partnered with the Special Olympics of Lake County in October.  Admittance to Dowling Park was free and there was a Halloween-themed game between members of the Special Olympics of Lake County and members of the Pride softball and baseball teams. In addition, children 14 years old and under had the opportunity to trick or treat in a controlled environment on the soccer field at Dowling Park while they played games with the student-athletes from the baseball, men’s basketball, tennis, and volleyball teams.

• Men’s and women’s golf collaborated with the Junior Achievement program to deliver experiential learning programs on the topics of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to local School City of Hammond students in kindergarten through high school during the fall semester.

• Student-athletes from various teams visited the Northwest Indiana Food Bank twice in the school year to assist in sorting pounds of nonperishable food drive items, packing food boxes for seniors and weekend meal bags for kids.

• Purdue Northwest hosted two kid’s day events during the basketball season in which all kids ages 0-18 were admitted free to the event which featured bouncy houses, face painting, coloring stations, poster autograph sessions by the home teams, and other child-friendly events before, during and after the two games.

• Men’s Tennis and women’s soccer paired up to volunteer with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). FMSC provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children.

• Women’s cross country and men’s cross country gave back to the local running community throughout the year volunteering as race marshals at several events.

• Softball found meaningful ways to give back throughout the year partnering with local schools to be their Recess Buddies, mentoring youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters and YMCA programs, and volunteering with the Humane Society as well.

• Women’s tennis connected with the ASW Foundation at numerous events throughout the year.  ASW Foundation devotes its energy to giving back to the community and raising awareness to gun violence. 

• Volleyball made an impact within the local community by volunteering with United Way’s Real Strong Girls’ campaign on a monthly basis.  Real.Strong.Girls. is a dynamic community of women from all walks of life who are united in their belief that every girl in our community deserves the chance to reach her full potential. 

• Men’s Soccer, volleyball, women’s soccer, and women’s tennis all participated in the R-Dub Club with the School City of Hammond.  R-Dub Club (R stands for reading and Dub stands for “W”=writing) is when student-athletes visit 4th and 5th grade classrooms, sharing their stories of athletic and academic success, while helping the students work through a class book and then writing a book report.