April 12, 2013
BEAUMONT - Lamar University's annual Cardinal Connection wrapped up Friday afternoon at the Montagne Center as every Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) first grader enjoyed the exciting festivities.
A joint effort by Lamar University, BISD and ExxonMobil, the purpose of Cardinal Connection is to promote the importance of learning and to assist with the development of necessary reading skills. Prior to the final program at the Montagne Center, Lamar student-athletes from each sport visited local first grade classrooms to not only read to children, but also to encourage them to read.
"Cardinal Connection was another great event this year for all of the BISD first graders," said LU Director of Athletics Jason Henderson. "We want to thank ExxonMobil for helping make this great event possible along with all of the efforts of BISD and superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois and our student-athletes."
Nearly 1,700 first graders were on hand Friday afternoon for the program which included skits featuring Lamar student-athletes and coaches. It illustrated how being successful in reading, like athletics, requires hard work and practice but can also be fun.
"Cardinal Connection emphasizes the importance of learning to read at an early age in order to develop the necessary skills to be successful in life," said Kathleen Jackson, Public & Government Affairs Manager for ExxonMobil. "Our schools are a reflection of our community and by investing in reading for our young people, we are investing in our community."
In addition to visiting the Montagne Center, each first grader received a Cardinal Connection T-shirt and a Lamar bookmark.
"Cardinal Connection is an outstanding opportunity to make a lasting impact on every Beaumont ISD first grader," added Michael Wilkinson, Lamar's assistant director of marketing and promotions. "The event is a spectacle that the kids will remember for years to come. Most importantly, it teaches the kids the importance of reading, which is something that is vital to the success of our student-athletes and campus as a whole. Without the support of Exxon Mobil and Beaumont ISD, none of this would be possible."