Radio crew, Red Wings staff visits Rainbow Elementary

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published October 2, 2013

 Rainbow Elementary third-grader Wade Corbishley participates in a puck shootout against the teachers during the assembly.

Rainbow Elementary third-grader Wade Corbishley participates in a puck shootout against the teachers during the assembly.

Photos by Erin Sanchez

CLINTON TOWNSHIP —The week of Sept. 16 was rather exciting for the Rainbow Elementary School student body in Clintondale Community Schools.

On that Monday, staff from 95.5’s Mojo In The Morning Show visited Lee Barber’s third-grade classroom to drop off school supplies in the radio station’s Backpack Giveaway contest.

“We were selected. They came in unannounced,” Barber said. “It was a surprise. (The students) really enjoyed it. I don’t think a lot of them get the opportunity to get new backpacks every year.”

Barber submitted an entry for the giveaway via the station’s website.

“I put I had a respectful classroom and students treat each other nicely,” Barber said.

The Mojo crew dropped off backpacks of various colors and designs, folders, school supplies, Doritos, sticky notes and calculators. Each student also received two free books.

“It was really cool,” third-grader Kaycee Stang said.

“We didn’t even know,” third-grader Kadence Kubbe said.

Two days later, on Sept. 18, the school’s gymnasium roared like Joe Louis Arena when Detroit Red Wings Foundation members visited with their School Assembly Program. Stacy Kubbe, of the Parent Teacher Organization, organized the event. Staff and students got into the spirit of the event by wearing Red Wings T-shirts, jerseys and caps.

The visit kicked off with some hockey trivia and prizes with Red Wings Foundation event marketing assistant Zach Konnie, event marketing manager Jim Biewer and event marketing assistant Tiffany Kress.

The students learned they share a common bond with the professional hockey team. The students get up in the morning, have breakfast and head off to school.

The Red Wings, too, wake up and have breakfast, Kress said. But instead of going to school, the players head over to JLA for practice, which for them is like school. While the Rainbow students are studying mathematics, science, social studies and more, the Red Wingers are learning on the ice.

“They’re learning different things like offense, defense, stick-handling skills and goal tending,” Kress said.

And they sort of have a teacher: Coach Mike Babcock.

Test taking is another common thread. While students take tests to assess what they have learned, Kress said the Red Wings take 82 tests a year: the number of games they play per season.

“When the Red Wings do well on their test they get a ‘W’ on their paper for win,” Kress said. “You both have to study, prepare and practice.”

Before coming to Rainbow, Biewer met with some of the players to gather advice to pass along to the students. He pointed out that the team members come from all over, including Henrik Zetterberg, of Sweden, and Pavel Datsyuk, of Russia. Even though the athletes hail from different places, they come together as one.

“Do you see how you guys are all different, just like the Red Wings?” Biewer pointed out. “You have really cool things to share with each other.”

Eating healthy is also a goal for the professional hockey players. To give the students some tips, the presenters held up poster boards with pictures of various foods, asking the students to determine if the foods were healthy or not. The Red Wings staff made the students promise they would remind their parents of the importance of maintaining a healthy diet.

The event ended when several students edged out their teachers in a shoot-out, with a 2-1 victory.

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Kroger Company of Michigan have partnered to bring the program to local schools. Each school receives two full sets of floor-hockey equipment, including hockey sticks and goalie nets. The visit and free equipment made many Rainbow students happy.

Fourth-grader Lela Murray thought the assembly was “really cool.”

“They kept asking questions and giving out prizes,” she said.

Fifth-grader Catie McElrath said player No. 2, Brendan Smith, is her favorite Red Wing.

“I just like them because they’re part of Detroit where I am from,” fifth-grader Lauren Burdiak said. “I like the Red Wings because I like all sports.”

“I love they won the Stanley Cup a lot of the time,” fifth-grader Sara Arment said.

“They’re so cool,” fourth-grader Soleil Barrie said. “They’re so fast. They always have a serious face on but it’s fun for everyone else.”