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Women's basketball team honored for partnership work

12/20/2011

Miami's women's basketball team recognized for partnership with Talawanda schools.
written by Courtney Day, NPIO intern

Miami University's women's basketball coach Maria Fantanarosa was honored with a plaque for the work that she and the RedHawks do in Miami's partnership with the Talawanda School District.

Each season, more than 1,500 elementary school students pack the stands for a women’s basketball event known as “Class at the Court.”

“The kids always come in fired up and make it such a great event,” said junior captain Courtney Osborn. “You look up in the stands and see kids with posters for you. They remember us and they really look up to us.”

Class at the Court is part of an ongoing partnership between the basketball team and Bogan, Kramer and Marshall elementary schools. Players visit the schools throughout the year to supplement the teachers’ learning objectives, teach students about making good choices and serve as role models in the Talawanda schools.

"I am very impressed with her (Fantanarosa) collaborative leadership style, and the high quality young women she and her staff have brought to Miami Women's basketball. They have given so much to our kids and Class at the Court is a favorite incentive program among students," said Kelly Spivey, Talawanda School superintendent.

With help from the women’s basketball team, older students learn about percentages by calculating free throws and younger children learn subtraction with game scores. The players also talk to the kids about nutrition, fitness, respect and the importance of education.

Fantanarosa said the partnership with Talawanda is great not only for the kids but also for the team.

“It’s a reminder for the players of how they have an opportunity to be role models,” she said.

The Talawanda-Miami partnership, founded in 2001, is the cornerstone and primary commitment of the Miami partnership office. The office works with area school districts, public and private entities and institutions, and agencies to create partnerships that will advance mutual goals for a stronger, healthier and more democratic community.

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