UMBC Student-Athlete Mentors Read The Polar Express at Relay Elementary School



Relay Elementary School holds an annual reading of the beloved children’s story, The Polar Express, every December. The students dress in their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animal along for the school-wide reading of the book.  The reading tradition began ten years ago to honor both Relay’s historical connection to railroads and a former principal, Dr. James Skarbek, who loved books, trains, and kids. 

Over the years, Relay Elementary has had many guest readers including Governor Ehrlich and Baltimore Ravens’ football players.  This year, several of UMBC’s student-athletes were honored to be the guest readers at the school assembly. The UMBC student-athletes who participate in the Make-a-Difference mentoring program were asked to be a part of the exciting tradition.  Men’s lacrosse player Sam Eitel, men’s baseball player Curtis Schickner, and women’s volleyball player Bianca Sande read the book while the other mentors sat at the front of the room proudly representing UMBC.  The UMBC student-athletes encourage the elementary school students to work hard, stay in school and someday pursue a college education of their own.