Howard W. Hewitt – Wabash men perform community service in many different ways. Some of their efforts require significant muscle and sweat. Sometimes the task requires patience and understanding.

Wabash’s Little Giant football team has had a tradition the past several years of reading to Crawfordsville Elementary Schools’ classrooms. They do it each Friday before home football games.

Friday was the first chance of the year to hit the classroom with the boys and girls and it’s rewarding to watch. The little kids at Hoover Elementary, on the city’s southside, were in awe when the big football players entered the room wearing their red home jerseys.

Jake Martin ’11 and Derrin Slack ’10 introduced themselves and the looks on the tiny faces were a mixture of awe and maybe even a little fear. But any apprehension quickly disappeared as the young men picked up their reading material and shared stories with the kids.

Slack giggled through his reading of a Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl win, noting he was a Colts’ fan. He let out a big whoop when he came to the page about the coach celebrating the team’s victory.

Martin read through his story with another class and then entertained questions and listened to stories from the children.

The kids had a great time and certainly will tell Mom and Dad when they get home about the Wabash football guys reading to them in class.

What about the Wabash men?

“That was a blast,” Slack beamed, as he headed down the hallway after his visit.

Players were scheduled to visit several of the city schools. If they were as well received as Jake and Derrin and enjoyed it as much as those two, Wabash men are having a brief but powerful impact on Crawfordsville’s youngest.