Building a Brighter, Stronger Future for Local Youth

Cavs players encourage students to go for their dreams and strengthen their minds through February community outreach

Throughout the incredibly cold month of February, the Wine & Gold warmed the hearts of many with a series of four signature community events that captivated, educated and motivated local students. With a strong emphasis on inspiration and the power of a positive attitude, Cavs players, coaches and various community leaders teamed up to make a big mark on the lives of many youth.

Swinging for Success - February 4th - VIEW PHOTOS
As part of the Cavaliers’ annual Black Heritage Celebration presented by State Farm and in honor of Black History Month, the Cavs embarked upon the “Continuing the Dream” tour. The first stop on the tour took 30 students from the Cleveland Baseball Federation to the 1940s to learn about baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who became the first African-American to break the baseball color barrier in 1947. The students joined Cavs guard Dion Waiters at the home of the Cleveland Indians to watch the 2013 film “42,” which tells the story of Robinson’s life, career in professional baseball and his battles with racism. Mascots Moondog and Sir C.C. tagged along to greet the youngsters and give each of them a “Dion’s Dream Chasers” t-shirt before things got started.

This also marked the 52nd anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American executive of a major TV station when he accepted the Director of Communications position with NBC on February 4th, 1962. To celebrate the milestone, Cleveland NBC-affiliate broadcaster Russ Mitchell spoke with the students about his career in broadcast and shared his experiences. Each of the students received a Cavs fan bag and tickets to a game.

A Tour through Time and Rhyme - February 10th - VIEW PHOTOS
Next up on the “Continuing the Dream” tour, students from the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland made a visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum with Cavs players Jarrett Jack and Carrick Felix. After a friendly welcome from Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris and Jack, the students were ready for their musical journey through time!

Split into four groups and led by expert Rock Hall tour guides, students viewed exhibits of African-American artists and learned about their incredible contributions to rock and roll. Everything from well-known memorabilia, clips of famous songs and carefully preserved costumes helped the students learn about how music has developed over the past century. As an encore, students also explored exhibits featuring some of their favorite artists of today, including Usher, Rihanna and Jay-Z.

Bringing History to Life at Little Red Schoolhouse - February 24th - VIEW PHOTOS
As part of the Cavaliers’ Read to Achieve program presented by Time Warner Cable and in association with Castaway Bay and Cuyahoga Community College, Cavs players C.J. Miles and Luol Deng invited 15 children from the Oberlin Boys and Girls Club to the Little Red Schoolhouse, Oberlin's oldest building and first integrated schoolhouse, for an interactive history lesson. As part of a tour through the Little Red Schoolhouse and adjacent Monroe House (longtime home of historical abolitionist James Monroe), the group learned about abolition, the Underground Railroad, women's rights, important moments in Oberlin history and life in the 1860s and 1870s.

Following the tour, students traveled over to the Little Red Schoolhouse for a reading time-out, where Miles and Deng read the students a story about civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cavs Host Calming Febru-ahhhh-ry Activity - February 24th - VIEW PHOTOS
As part of the Cavaliers’ Fit As A Pro program presented by Medical Mutual and Giant Eagle, Cavs’ Matthew Dellavedova and Anderson Varejao, as well as team performance specialist Derek Millender and in-arena host Ahmaad Crump, hosted an interactive Febru-ahhhh-ry event for 3rd grade students from Larkmoor Elementary School. Students learned how to cope with everyday stress, focus on breathing and find positive words to describe their CAVS - Character, Attitude, Voice and Strength - through two short stories: Belly Balloon and Walk your Talk.

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