The fourth and fifth graders knew they were in for a Friday celebration at Green Acres Elementary as a result of their success on the Georgia Milestones assessment. What they didn’t know was they were in for a grand slam pizza party hosted by local major league baseball star Dansby Swanson.
As part of its #85ActsofKindness campaign, Georgia’s Own Credit Union teamed up with the Cobb baseball star to congratulate the Green Acres students and help the school kick off another great year. Green Acres Elementary was one of the five Cobb elementary schools in 2019 with the best three-year trend on the state assessment. The school’s scores jumped by more than 10 points over the past three years.
“The progress that Green Acres Elementary has made is truly amazing. These kids deserve this [celebration],” said Chuck Dowdle, a Georgia’s Own Credit Union Foundation board member.
Swanson said he enjoyed being able to give back to the county where he grew up. He was also excited about pizza.
“It’s a pizza party. I think everyone is excited,” the professional ballplayer added laughing.
It was difficult to tell whether the students were more excited by the pizza or the star athlete until Swanson started signing autographs. The Green Acres students eagerly passed items to the MLB shortstop.
Swanson signed many of the bags that students received from Q99.7’s Adam Baum, but some students chose different ways to keep a record of the athlete’s visit. One student grinned as he clutched his tennis shoe, which sported the shortstop’s newly-penned signature. Another student smiled as Swanson signed his arm.
The students were not the only ones who seized on the opportunity to collect an autograph. One teacher stepped forward to have Swanson sign the back of her jacket.
Swanson hoped his visit to Green Acres and his other work with youth will inspire others.
“Whether it is just opening the door for someone, using manners, or just being respectful, it can really make the difference in someone’s life. When we do things together, it is a much better place,” Swanson said.