The Buffalo Bandits School Program ran from Dec. 11 to April 30.
As part of the program, Bandits players Mark Steenhuis, Mitch Jones, Craig England and Josh Byrne, as well as the Bandits’ mascot, Rax, visited Western New York and Southern Ontario schools to deliver informative and interactive presentations for both students and teachers. Over the past three years, the Bandits School Program has been able to reach 300 schools and work with 80,000 students.
The program provided two options to schools who register. The first option was a one-hour assembly that included positive messaging for students on topics such as reading, bullying and healthy living, but was tailored to fit the specific needs of schools or students. The players also put on interactive lacrosse demonstrations and fun contests to get the students involved. This option was open to grades K-8.
The second option included having Bandits players teach lacrosse to students in a physical education setting. This option was open to grades K-12. Equipment for the lessons was provided by the Bandits.
In addition to the presentations, each student received a voucher good for one free ticket to a 2017-18 Bandits home game.
Priority was given to those schools that were unable to take part in the program last year. Only teachers and administrators had the ability to formally register their school for the program.