U.S. Women's Soccer star Kelley O'Hara visits Normandy Elementary

U.S. Women's Soccer star Kelley O'Hara greets students at Normandy Elementary School. Photo by Julie Holland

U.S. Olympic Team and World Cup Soccer Champ, Kelley O'Hara, arrived at Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village to throngs of students chanting "U.S.A., U.S.A.!"

She was at the school on Sept. 25 to present $5,000 from the nonprofit group Be a Learning Hero in recognition of Normandy’s parent and community collaboration on their One School One Book program.

O'Hara visited classrooms and took questions from the students. One student asked her which foot she had used to kick the semi-final winning goal against Germany during the 2015 World Cup games. She thought a moment, then said, "My right foot!" The second-grader suggested she might have used her left foot to further confuse the goalkeeper, and O'Hara explained, "Well, that goalie was confused. The look on her face made me think she wasn't too happy about that goal!" Her team went on to beat Japan and win the World Cup.

The soccer star also talked about the importance of students listening to their teachers and working hard. She asked them about their favorite subjects and signed their Be a Learning Hero T-shirts. Students also received bookmarks that had a story about their One School One Book program in the form of a comic strip, featuring principal Dan Sebring.

Normandy was selected from many schools entering Be a Learning Hero's "Game Plan for Success" contest. Sebring entered the contest, describing their success in teaching to high standards through the One School, One Book Program: “Every student receives a copy of the same high quality children’s novel. Under gentle guidance, every family reads the book over the course of a designated month. Interest in the book is created and augmented at school through daily trivia questions and daily lessons in each classroom. The result is a school wide conversation about the book. Everyone at school, from teachers to bus drivers to facilities personnel, will read the same book. The conversation leaves the classroom to enter the cafeteria, the playground, the parking lot, local shops and businesses, and it comes to involve every layer of the community.”

Be A Learning Hero is a partner with the National PTA and others to promote parent support of their children’s success in school.

Karen Derby

Director of Communications for the Bay Village City School District

Read More on Schools
Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:56 AM, 10.06.2015