Posted on June 9, 2014 at 4:49 PM
Monday, Jun 9 at 6:06 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dozens of elementary schools students got a special treat on the last week of classes for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District: a visit from a few retired ex-NBA players like Muggsy Bougues and Dell Curry. But the biggest treat, besides seeing Hugo the Hornets mascot, was to see a former player who many consider the best-ever, Hornets’ team owner Michael Jordan.
Jordan and members of the Hornets family went to Hornets Nest Elementary School Monday morning for a special announcement between the Hornets, Lowes and Fox Sports South: the first community service project since the name changed from Bobcats to Hornets
"This is a great moment in our franchise's history as we embark on a new chapter as the Charlotte Hornets and immediately entrench ourselves within our community with our day of service," said President and COO Fred Whitefield.
Called "Swarm to Serve", hundreds of volunteers who work for Lowes, the Hornets and Fox Sports came to the elementary school on Beatties Ford Road to complete a number of improvement projects around the campus.
All materials were donated by Lowes to help spruce up the grounds, repair the jungle gym and cleanup around the fence and the school's courtyard.
"We knew there would be a lot of excitement... but we never expected the (community) reaction like this," Jordan said, "Education is so important. And we want to do what we can to help teachers.”
The Hornets also announced that through a partnership between Lowes and Fox Sports South, they will give CMS a quarter of a million dollars. Jordan also awarded two teachers with check for $5,000 to be used in their classrooms.
The Hornets and Lowes also gave all the students at Hornets Nest a new book courtesy of the Book Bus, a full service literacy bus that travels throughout the Charlotte area giving books to youths.
"This is great, I couldn't believe it," said first grade teacher Sarah Norris, who was one of the two teachers to win the grant, "At first when I heard my name, I didn't realize it, cause I'm so use to being called Ms. Norris in class. But then I was like wow."
She said her grant money would be used for a balanced literacy program for all first graders.
Jordan's two brothers also came out help with the project, and his daughter was also there helping to paint a gate to the courtyard which will bear the Hornets logo, like the two basketball courts that volunteers helped to paint. Jordan also left the school with another gift; he made a copy of his hands for a concrete stand in the courtyard so students for years will know "His Airness" was there.
"This is just a start of our commitment to the community," Jordan said.
Also The Hornets announced that they plan to give all 9,600 CMS teachers a gift pack including items like a tumbler, car decal and key-chain and thank you book mark.