C's Stress Importance of Education to Students

Celtics Paul Pierce, Jordan Crawford and Terrence Williams hosted an assembly for students of the Jackson Mann K-8 School and Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

BRIGHTON, Mass. – More than 250 youth from two schools, the Jackson Mann K-8 School and Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, filed into an auditorium Monday morning for a Stay in School assembly with members of the Boston Celtics.

The Stay in School program, in partnership with Arbella Insurance, has underlined the importance of academic attendance and education across Boston Public Middle Schools for more than 22 years. Every student over the last two decades who had perfect attendance at the end of each month has received a prize from the Celtics.

Jackson Mann and Horace Mann, the final schools selected for an assembly for the 2012-13 season, showed their appreciation and excitement by cheering loudly when two of the newest Celtics, Terrence Williams and Jordan Crawford, along with Celtics captain Paul Pierce, entered the auditorium.

Prior to meeting the middle school students in the auditorium, 25 students who were previously selected by their teachers for their effort and commitment to school work over the course of the year participated in a short basketball clinic with the Celtics VIPs. Pierce, Williams and Crawford also posed for photos with the students before heading to the auditorium to meet with the rest of the student body.

Using the acronym P.R.I.D.E. (perseverance, respect, integrity, decisions, education), the Celtics VIPs addressed the youth about the importance of each word while providing personal stories connecting to the word.

Pierce, a 15-year veteran, spoke about the importance of perseverance and how overcoming hardship was something he knew very well. He discussed how he once played on a struggling Celtics team, yet through hard work and team unity the Celtics became world champions just one year later.

“No matter how difficult something may be, we all must work through it to become a better individual. We can apply this to both school and basketball allowing each of us to achieve our goals,” said the captain.

Williams urged students to have respect for not only others, but for themselves. Focusing on the importance of the middle school years and shaping their identity, Williams made the point that respect helps how others perceive one another.

“It’s the little things like holding the door for your elders and helping your peers with their homework that show respect for others,” Williams told the audience.

Following Williams’ words, Celtics Community Relations and Player Development Director Matt Meyersohn spoke to the youth about integrity, which means always doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Despite not having the physical skills to reach his dream of making it to the NBA as a player, Meyersohn explained how he still made it to the NBA as a member of the Celtics organization off the court. Through the use of integrity, Meyersohn emphasized how his dream ultimately came true working with the community, schools and basketball all at the same time.

Crawford spoke to the youth about the importance of making the right decisions.

“Every day each one of you make decisions that ultimately shape who you are as an individual,” said Crawford. “Make sure you’re doing the right things because every decision affects your future.”

Pierce concluded the acronym P.R.I.D.E. by addressing education. Sharing a childhood story, the captain explained how his mother never allowed him to travel to the park with his friends on weekends until all of his schoolwork had been completed.

“Education was always my first priority because it helped me achieve my dream,” said Pierce. “All of us have dreams and goals. Some of you may want to become a doctor, teacher, astronaut or even a basketball player. However, achieving our dreams without an education is nearly impossible.”

The assembly helped to strengthen the message of academic importance that teachers reiterate to students everyday.

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