Wendling Visits Cabrini Schools

Posted Dec 22, 2010

It all started out as a teacher and a class who wanted to do a community service project this holiday season. Darin Kerr and his sixth grade class at St. Frances Cabrini Middle School decided they wanted to collect books and donate them to the Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families.  They had no idea that the project would result in a school wide collection of nearly 2,000 books. Kerr said, “Two months ago, my 6th grade class wanted to undertake a community service project for the holidays and we wanted to do something that emphasized the importance of reading.”

On December 14th all the students of Cabrini Elementary and Middle Schools gathered to present their collection to representatives from Oakwood Healthcare, including president and CEO Brian Connolly. The Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families is a medical home that supports children and adults with special needs. After hearing testimony from Mr. Connolly, Tammy Morris, Manager of Pediatric Rehabilitation, Sheryl Stumbaugh and her service dog, Kahlua, the kids heard from a special guest.

Detroit Lions safety John Wendling joined in the ceremony and spoke to children about the importance of education and reading. Wendling, a Wyoming native, grew up in a home of educators with a teacher and principal for parents and can’t stress the importance of education enough. “Sure, I was able to reach my goal of being a professional athlete but that’s not the case for many kids,” said Wendling, “It’s important to get a good education for any dream that kids may have.” Wendling spoke to children about the importance of staying in school and how reading can lead to many successes no matter what your dreams or goals may be in life. Wendling then took questions in all making a day the children will never forget.

After the ceremony was complete Wendling, along with 12 Cabrini students closed the donation by loading up a van with the books headed to the Oakwood facilities. The majority of the books will be used to add to the library at the Center along with some of the nearly 2,000 going towards holiday gifts for families visiting the Center.