Originally published on NBC 24 - April 5th, 2023
TOLEDO, Ohio — A group of students from the Ohio Virtual Academy and Ohio Digital Learning School put down their computers for an in-person field trip to the Huntington Center.
They were given a tour around the arena and the Walleye players led a practice of teaching the students how to play hockey.
"It's a lot of fun," forward Gordie Green said. "They come out here, they all have smiles on their face. It makes me very grateful for the game I get to play every day."
Green along with his teammates John Albert, Joseph Nardi, Ryan Lowney and Ty Enns were happy to spend Wednesday sharing the ice with their newest teammates.
Fourth grader Raegan McCormick shared how she learned about the trip and couldn’t hold back her excitement of being named a walleye for the day.
"It's really cool, it's really, really cool," McCormick said. "I got an email from my teacher saying I got this reward and I picked this, so I was really excited and yeah, I screamed and jumped up and down.ddint know it was this big of a thing, I screamed and jumped up and down very excited."
McCormick and 11 of her classmates attend fully virtual school.
They left home for a special field trip, trading in their laptops for hockey sticks.
"That's nice for them too then to come out and meet some other classmates maybe that they don't see that so often," Green said.
Sarah Sánchez, director of communications for the Ohio Council of Community Schools, shared that they're always looking for ways to engage their students.
"We like to partner with community organizations that can provide a very unique and special opportunity for our schools in northwest Ohio and across the state," Sánchez said.
The students met Spike, got new uniforms and even scored a few goals on the professionals.
"They're learning from the hockey players themselves, the professionals who play on the ice every weekend and so they're learning these basics of hockey and tying in education. So the players talk about what their educational journey has been to get to this point, what hockey is like, all the skills and educational aspects that go into playing this sport."
It's safe to say the Walleye have made several new fans.
To learn more about Ohio Virtual Academy, visit https://ohva.k12.com/.
To learn more about Ohio Digital Learning School, visit https://odls.k12.com/.
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