Wolves Make Impact On Farnsworth's Future Leaders

Wolves Make Impact On Farnsworth's Future Leaders

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Farnsworth Aerospace School principal Hamilton Bell stood in front of about 150 students in the school’s gymnasium on Tuesday and asked a simple question to the kids: Farnsworth is the home of?

“Future leaders!” the kids roared back in unison.

The home of?

“Future leaders!” they screamed louder.

And on Tuesday, that group of kids showcased a collection of qualities you hope to see out of this country’s future leaders. As the Timberwolves arrived to help dedicate the outdoor basketball court its staff helped refurbish on Sept. 12, the students were respectful and appreciative of the efforts collaborated between the Timberwolves and Rebuilding Together Twin Cities.

As part of the FastBreak Foundation’s initiative to help make an impact on children in the community, the Timberwolves teamed with Rebuilding Together to refurbish parts of Farnsworth’s school and playground last month. Wolves staffers put up new basketball hoops and resurfaced the playground to make a court, they painted and added Wolves and Lynx signage in the library and they helped landscape around the school.

In the end, Bell said the school’s exterior now matches the level of education and learning the kids are experiencing inside. Now those two facets match up.

“It made a difference for our school because outside of a school, appearance has to be beautiful before people can realize that you’re doing good things inside,” Bell said. “And then the piece they did in the back in the playground, it gave our kids a chance to play four square, it gave them a chance to see these wonderful blue and black colors as the Timberwolves, but the piece they did, when they put the hoops up and they have the Timberwolves and the world champion Lynx there—that really means something to our kids and not only the kids but also our neighborhood. Because it beautifies things and it shows people that within the east side of St. Paul, we’re making a difference.”

[CLICK HERE for Timberwolves.com's photo gallery from Tuesday's court dedication.]

On Tuesday, the Wolves returned not only to dedicate the playground’s new basketball court but also to put on a basketball clinic for a group of students. Timberwolves Basketball Academy coordinator Pat Freeman led a camp that included dribbling relays, Crunch stopped by to lead the entertainment and two Wolves Dancers were there to meet the kids and hand out prizes at the end of the day.

Bell said the way the Wolves and Lynx teams give back to the community is important to him and his future leaders. When the kids see the team’s emblems on the basketball hoops, it shows them that professional sports teams care about giving back to the people in their area. The camp, Bell said, demonstrates they take the time to come visit in the community. And the library helps the kids understand that, educationally, if someone can’t afford to go someplace they can always read about it and dream of what they can become if they choose to get a great education.

As future leaders, Bell said the kids are well on their way.

Rebuilding Together has partnered with the Wolves for five seasons, and when the Wolves reached out about refurbishing a school’s library and court, executive director Kathy Greiner said they were able to match the organization up with Farnsworth.

Rebuilding Together’s mission is to bring volunteers together to repair houses for low-income home owners, but they also work with schools and community centers in those low-income areas.

Like so many other initiatives, Rebuilding Together and the Wolves were able to accomplish a lot in a day’s work.

“It’s a different project with the same end goal,” Greiner said. “Basically, we’re trying to brighten the faces of the kids so that they know there are people out in the community that care about what’s going on at their school so they have a better environment to learn what they need to learn.”

Wolves community relations coordinator Kristin Edmundson said working with Farnsworth was a treat for the organization. Bell is one of the most grateful principals the team has worked with, she said, and at the end of the day she could feel the appreciation from the staff and students for the completed projects.

“We even got to go out and see some of the kids out there during recess time, and they seemed to be loving it,” Edmundson said. “That makes it all the better.”

Bell joked the project was so well-received that former students stopped back and asked why they didn’t have all this done when they were going to school at Farnsworth. That’s OK, Bell said, because it shows progress and upgrades made at the school and in the community. It is progress, which is another pivotal quality of producing future leaders.

There’s a lot of them at Farnsworth Aerospace School.

“The reality of things is your education is what’s going to spear you on in life in many different ways,” Bell said. “With the Timberwolves showing what they gave themselves, and with the volunteers that have come here and to make a difference within our school, it shows them community service. It shows them that professional organizations do more than play basketball or talk about statistics of what certain individuals have done. They’re willing to come here and make a difference.”

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