March 30, 2011

Yale Student-Athletes Start Eli’s Friends

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - This spring semester saw the start of Eli's Friends, a student-athlete run program that supports young patients at the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital.  The program was founded by Alfonso Costa (Men's Basketball and Lacrosse) and Michael Pratt (Men's Lacrosse) and currently consists of 14 student-athletes who have gone through an extensive training to become volunteers with this organization.  The students, listed below, go to the hospital in various groups every Monday – Friday from 1:30 – 3:00 pm. 

Volunteers work in the Pediatric Primary Care Clinic through the "Reach Out and Read Program," as Yale student-athletes engage the outcare patients with books and reading activities, as well as participate in arts and crafts. The volunteers read aloud, listen to children read, and elicit the children's interest.

The "Reach Out and Read Program" improves literacy among inner city children. The program integrates parent education about literacy development into regular pediatric care between the ages of six months and five years, taking advantage of regularly scheduled child visits to reach parents of young children at the time when they are most receptive.

Alison Cole '99, Assistant Athletic Director for Development and Outreach said, "This program is an incredible testament to our student-athletes and the role community outreach plays in their overall Yale experience.  They initiated this relationship with the Children's Hospital and saw the program through to fruition, which included a rigorous training with the hospital.  To find the time to achieve this goal, while many were also in season, is amazing."

The Yale Athletic Department in incredibly proud of this new partnership and looks forward to working with Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital and our student-athletes for further develop and enhance this program in the future. 

Eli's Friends
Eric Gresham (Football)
Joseph Young (Football)
Caroline Crow (Women's Lacrosse)
Kaitlyn Flatley (Women's Lacrosse)
Mahi Trivellas (Women's Lacrosse)
Myra Trivellas (Women's Lacrosse)
Lucas Aronson (Men's Lacrosse)
Alfonso Costa (Men's Lacrosse)
Mark Dobrosky (Men's Lacrosse)
Johnathan Falcone (Men's Lacrosse)
Benjamin Gifford (Men's Lacrosse)
Michael Pratt (Men's Lacrosse)
Peter Spaulding (Men's Lacrosse)
Colin Still (Men's Lacrosse)