Students and staff at Hidden Valley Elementary were dressed in their best western wear to greet the Wells Fargo Stagecoach. Once the dust settled, the pint-sized cowgirls and cowboys took turns climbing up the steps of the fire engine red stagecoach and taking a carriage ride.
The event, held in conjunction with the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship, is part of the second annual READING ABOVE PAR community program. Wells Fargo leaders, including Tim Hanlon, President of the Wells Fargo Foundation and Tia Capers, a Wells Fargo Volunteer and children’s book author; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Chief of Police Rodney Monroe; and PGA TOUR players Chad Campbell and J.J. Henry came together to promote the importance of reading and education. The program also donated books to the students for their personal libraries.
The special guests sat with students and read “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” aloud to the group. The students sat patiently and listened to each word, waiting for their cue to chant along with the readers.
The guest readers encouraged the students to find a passion for reading. “Reading brings you new experiences,” said Hanlon, as he described the way his parents introduced him to reading as a child. Henry said, “I have a son in kindergarten. I enjoy reading with him before bed. As a parent, it’s fun to see him learn to read.”
The students also asked a few questions about the game of golf. Campbell offered the students a crash-course, “Birdies are good. Bogeys are bad.” When asked about what it was like to be a professional golfer, Campbell said, “We both love golf. It’s nice to live your dream.” Henry added, “It’s important to have life skills. It’s the life skills I learned as a student that help me with golf, like honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, hard work and dedication.”
In the end, the students gave the golfers the best advice of the day. They collectively recited the character word of the day, “Perseverance. Don’t give up. Keep trying.”