HUNTSVILLE – Even in the midst of busy athletic seasons, student-athletes from Sam Houston State have had a history impacting the local community a priority. That was evident once again last week when the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) recently teamed up with Academy Sports & Outdoors to give back to a local elementary school.

For the second straight year, Academy Sports & Outdoors donated 100 backpacks to aid in a school-supply initiative put on by the SHSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The retailer, and partner of Sam Houston athletics, recently presented the backpacks to SAAC. The bags were then joined with necessary school supplies and delivered last week to Scott Johnson Elementary in Huntsville.

“One of the fun parts about this is that we are able to go into the schools and actually see how this has benefitted the kids,” Sam Houston Senior Associate Athletics Director Chris Thompson said. “We have been doing this school supply drive for several years now, and now when we go to the schools we are seeing the backpacks and supplies being put directly to use. That has been a really rewarding thing for myself and our SAAC kids to see.”

Sam Houston’s 17 teams collected items to assist the school including Kleenex, scissors (round edges), glue sticks, hand sanitizer, No. 2 pencils, 16-count crayons, wide-ruled notebook paper and spiral/composition books.

Bearkat athletics has a history of supporting Scott Johnson Elementary including the department’s Bearkat Mentor Program which allows the athletes to serve as positive examples and role models for the children.

SAAC is comprised of representatives from all sports in Bearkat Athletics and is a group who initiates community service efforts throughout the year. The group has contributed to local school-supply drives for the last 12 years, receiving a list of supplies needed to replenish the classroom and help those children who do not have the resources to make it through the year.