Teacher Sylvia Rodriguez and her 5th-grade G.A.T.E. (Gifted and Talented Education) students at Phoebe Hearst Elementary in Sacramento had a pair of special visitors at their school on January 8. Sacramento Kings forward Donte Greene and point guard Bobby Brown stopped by to honor Ms. Rodriguez as one of two Sacramento County Teachers of the Year 2009 and to promote the joys of education.
In conjunction with the Kings' "Read Read to Achieve" program, the players read to the students and presented students with free books. Reaching an estimated 50 million children annually, the year-round Read to Achieve campaign is the most extensive educational outreach initiative in the history of professional sports. The program is designed to help young people develop a life-long love for reading and encourage adults to read regularly with children.
Both Greene and Brown shared with students their recollections of school and talked about what inspires and motivates them. They also reminded the children to appreciate school and to value the lessons they are being taught. Each child posed for a picture with the players and took home an autographed tote bag filled with gifts from the Kings organization.
For more than 15 years, the Sacramento Kings have helped recognize district and county Teachers of the Year. District and County Teachers of the Year 2009 in Sacramento County will be honored on February 6, 2009, at the Sacramento Kings vs. Utaz Jazz game at ARCO Arena.
Elliott Ranch Elementary, in the Elk Grove Unified School District, the school of Sacramento County's other Teacher of the Year 2009 Janet Anderson will be visited in March by Kings players.
Information about the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program is available online or by phoning the Sacramento County Office of Education at (916) 228-2417.