Claremont Elementary School students dressed in navy and red to cheer on the Rogers State University men’s basketball team through a virtual platform yesterday, bringing the annual event from the basketball court right to their own classrooms.
“We are so lucky to have RSU actively engaging our kids, especially at a time when we are limited on our interactions. Having RSU embrace our school and create lifelong memories has become a yearly event,” Claremont Elementary Principal Randa Fay said. “The RSU athletic department along with RCB Bank has given many of our kids a chance to see a live college basketball game they might not normally have the chance to see. Even this year with the changes, they are still looking out for the kids and bringing the game to us.”
Due to COVID, future Hillcat fans spent their last school day of the year participating in the athletics gameday tradition.
“Nothing can match the energy of 500 kids yelling and screaming at an in-person game, but we did our best to show the students of Claremont what Hillcat family is all about,” RSU Alumni Director Travis Peck said.
RSU’s mascot Hunter the Hillcat was on site to safely greet the students. RCB Bank provided popcorn for the event and each student received candy, Hillcat posters, an activity book and several toy giveaways.
“I have been tasked with fostering our relationship with Claremont as a partner in education. We were so excited to take the game day experience to the kids this year,” Peck said.
In 2010, RSU announced its adoption of Claremont Elementary School. The partnership, known as the Hillcub Program, provides tutoring, supply drives and educational and social programs for Claremont students. Through the program, the university will attempt to raise the test scores and increase the number of Claremont students who graduate from high school and enroll in college.
More than 100 years ago, the institution presently known as RSU was established at the current site of Claremont Elementary School. In 1909, Eastern University Preparatory School, which prepared young people for college, began operation in the old Claremont Building at that location. The school later moved to its present location on college hill.
Gameday was made possible by the RSU Foundation, RSU Athletics and RCB Bank.