January 2007 Issue
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Eric Snow makes his living playing basketball, but he knows there's a lot more to life. That's why the Canton native thinks it's so important to stress other matters to youngsters.
"Education is the key to most things in life," Snow says. "Not just going to college, but getting a good education and learning. The love for learning is irreplaceable. It will take the person far in life."
Snow and the Cavaliers have teamed up to open the Eric Snow Reading and Learning Center in Canton's Edward L. Coleman Community Center - named after the former councilman - which hosts after-school programs for as many as 500 elementary-, middle- and high-school students each week. The learning center, painted in team colors of wine, gold and navy, is the fifth the Cavaliers have opened in the area.
Read to Achieve has been a league-wide NBA initiative since 2001. Reading and Learning Centers, a component of the Read to Achieve program, are selected through a screening process.
"This gives kids another avenue to use in their education," says Lisa Gissendaner, the director of the Canton center. "This has been a blessing. It's great how Eric has been able to give back to the community."
Snow wants all youngsters to benefit from his experiences whenever possible. The father of three also hosts Fatherhood Basketball Clinics for dads and sons at Quicken Loans Arena.
"[According to statistics], having fathers present and involved in the lives of children results in a positive increase in nearly every part of their life," he says. "We see grades go up. Attitude is more positive. Leadership in activities is increased. Children and families with involved fathers have fewer incidences of medical problems. And when we see involved fathers particularly reading to their children, we see that the majority of those students do well in school and seek education beyond the high-school level."