June 3, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - On May 27, the UC Santa Barbara women's and men's tennis teams put away their rackets for a day and instead utilized their reading skills and voices to help others as they took part in the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic program at the organization's Santa Barbara Unit in Goleta, Calif. The effort fell under the umbrella of Gauchos Give.
"It was really a great experience for the players and the coaches," said women's head coach Pete Kirkwood. "It was a little intimidating at first. They put you in a room with recording equipment and they set you up with a producer who records you. Some of us were pretty nervous at first, but any time we messed up or misread something, all we had to do was start from where we left off. They were able to edit it all together to make it really sound good."
Kirkwood said that the commitment to take part in Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic is a major one.
"They offer volunteer opportunities for long-term projects," he said. "It is a pretty big time commitment, but it is a tremendously worthwhile cause. I think some of our players are interested in taking part in the program."
In the past, other members of the UCSB community have also donated their time to Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, including Chancellor Henry Yang and his wife Dilling, as well as Nobel Laureates Walter Kohn, Herbert Kroemer, David Gross and Alan Heeger.
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, a nonprofit volunteer organization, is the nation's educational library serving people who cannot effectively read standard print because of visual impairment, dyslexia or other physical disability. Their mission is to create opportunities for individual success by providing, and promoting the effective use of, accessible educational materials. Their hope is for all people to have equal access to the printed word.
The effort was part of the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative. With the arrival of Mark Massari as Athletics Director in October, UCSB Athletics launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative for all 450 athletes and 20 sports. Gaucho athletes give back to their community through free clinics, helping families during the holidays, providing financial and emotional support during tragedies, and touching the lives of youth groups.