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Darling Teaches For America

Charlotte Sting guard Helen Darling recently traded in her basketball shoes for pencils and papers as she headed Briarwood Elementary School to participate in Teach For America Week.

The Teach For America Week program is an annual nationwide event that unites hundreds of actors, executives, athletes, members of Congress, authors, musicians, activists and heads of state in the cause expanding educational opportunity.

As a participant in this program, Darling spent an hour with a class of first graders teaching a lesson of her choice. The situation was perfect for the 5-6 guard who graduated from Penn State with a degree in education from Penn State University.

�I have a lot of respect for teachers,� she said. �It�s hard to keep the kids quiet and keep them engaged. I have a degree in education and I�m supposed to be a teacher but I decided to go away from that. I�m glad I have that background so that when I need to teach I can.�

Darling did keep the kids entertained though as she shared with them a story about the different hats people wear. She then had the students make hats of their own. Some made astronaut hats while others created cowboy and firefighter hats. Each hat reflected the personality of the child as they colored and decorated them with buttons.

This basketball standout also took time to answer questions from the students about her unique job.

�This was a great experience for the kids because they really enjoyed it,� said Ingrid Swenson, the teacher of the first grade classroom Darling visited. �Our reading unit is called community jobs so it was interesting for them to hear from somebody that has another job in the community. She was engaging and they certainly enjoyed the activity. It�s something we will remember the whole year.�

By: Malinda Murray, charlottesting.com