Our summer of learning with the possibility that Mr. Wade would visit was made a reality. The Wade Readers were very excited for the special day that was planned.
We began our day as we would any normal day of the “Live to Dream” program— bathroom breaks, morning work and reading, and snack. Although some of the children knew Mr. Wade would be visiting, there was still anticipation and excitement as news crews and University Advancement staff members gathered in the Hartman Center.
Around 9:45, we gathered as a group in the main area of the Hartman Center. Mr. Daggett and Ms. Dillon, our “hosts” for the event and fellow Wade Coaches, gathered the group by practicing applause and getting the students ready to sit quietly. Mr. Daggett read a story to the Wade Readers, which kept them occupied as we waited for Mr. Wade’s entrance.
When Mr. Wade arrived, the students applauded and chanted “We are Marquette” to welcome him to the Hartman Center. After greeting the readers and getting seated, Mr. Wade had the opportunity to read to the students a story called “Stevie,” asking comprehension questions as he read. The Wade Readers were engaged and enjoyed listening to Mr. Wade narrate the story.
Following the story, each classroom had the chance to ask Mr. Wade one question, which turned out to be a very fun and exciting moment for them. For instance, my student, Oscar, was called up by Mr. Wade to show off his cool hairstyle, which was a great moment for my otherwise shy Oscar! Ms. Lewandowski’s student, Dwayne, also enjoyed Mr. Wade’s acknowledgement that they shared the same name, despite joking about the spelling difference.
Later on, we unveiled our gift to Mr. Wade and his sister, Ms. Tragil Wade: a canvas with each student’s handprint. Mr. Wade and Ms. Wade were given the opportunity to also place their handprints alongside the students’ on the canvas. After a group picture altogether in front of the new artwork, we returned to our classrooms to prepare for the afternoon.
Although our days during the “Live to Dream” program usually only run from 9:00 to 11:00 in the morning, this day was extended until 1:30 for the students. We had planned stations and games for the students outside, each of which was run by a University Advancement volunteer. Games such as water balloon toss, pillow-sack races, and wheel-barrow races made for great fun for the Wade Readers. Not only did the readers have the chance to be active outdoors, but Mr. Wade joined them during their rotations!
To finish off our busy morning, we gathered in the central mall of campus for a special lunch, joined by Mr. Wade and Ms. Wade, as well as Dr. Lovell. The readers were excited to see that many of their principals and administrative members also were able to join us for the luncheon. Our Wade Readers had a very exciting day and were each on their best behavior throughout the course of the extended day.
Now these past few weeks – having been treated to an appearance by Mr. Wade himself in the “Live to Dream” program – the Wade Readers ask when he will be back to visit. It was certainly an exciting moment not only for each of them and for us Wade Coaches, but also for Marquette to have the former student and now famous NBA player back on campus.
As our last days in the Hartman Center’s “Live to Dream” program approach, look back at my blog for more updates on the end of our time together to follow!