What would have been a memorable day for middle and elementary school students to watch a game of summer baseball, Thursday June 8th turned into a smoke filled “all activities are cancelled” day. When the Oilers kids’ day was cancelled due to poor air quality, it was a melancholy feeling not being able to witness the excitement on students’ faces being able to watch a competitive game of baseball packed with fun games and endless entertainment. But, with the quick action of the Olean Oilers organization, CASA-Trinity prevention, and Olean City School District staff, plan B was in the works.
On Wednesday, June 14th, the Oilers had orchestrated a surprise visit for Olean City School District’s fourth graders; a surprise that they will never forget. During their regularly scheduled classes, some of the Olean Oilers players decided to “sit in” on some classes and say hello to students! Each player in attendance talked a bit about themselves: where they go to college, what their position is, and gave a warm thank you to the fourth-grade classes that made posters related to substance use and alcohol prevention.
When the Oilers kids’ day was originally set in stone, Olean City fourth-grade classes created posters to showcase the concept of STAR: Stop. Think. Act. Reflect. Before making any decision, students are encouraged to stop, think, act, and reflect to ensure good decision-making skills. However, when the Oilers kids’ day was smoked out, CASA-Trinity prevention was unable to showcase these beautifully created posters within the walls of Bradner Stadium
When it came time for the surprise visit, CASA-Trinity’s Prevention staff also surprised students with swag bags sponsored by Healthy Cattaraugus County Coalition (HCC), thanking them for their hard work in creating their STAR posters; each bag had a simple message: Make Today Epic.
At the conclusion of CASA-Trinity’s collaborative visit with the Olean Oilers players, the fourth-grade students were elated to have this surprise visit and were over the moon to still have an experience to interact with the players in some capacity, despite not having an actual kids’ day as they anticipated. Students were encouraged by the players to come out and attend a game with their families this summer as their #1fans. Students were also encouraged by CASA-Trinity’s prevention staff to be STARS this summer, and to always stop, think, act, and reflect before making decisions.