HUNTSVILLE – With Sam Houston State football opening spring practice, the Bearkats have shown a focus not only improving on the field, but also giving back to the community.

During the last week and a half, the program has visited Lansberry Elementary School, the Boys & Girls Club of Walker County as well as Scott E. Johnson Elementary School, providing assistance and quality time spent at each.

While at Trinity’s Lansberry Elementary, the players took the time out to read to the students, offering a positive interaction with the group while underscoring the importance of education.

"For the second year in a row, we appreciate the players coming out to read to the kids,” English teacher Susan Green said. “The kids loved reading Dr. Seuss to the players, and enjoyed the players reading to them. It’s important that we have the players show the kids a positive side of life and serve as a positive role model.”

During their visit to Scott Johnson Elementary, the Bearkats interacted and had lunch with the students before taking part in their recess. According to the school’s counselor, Marsha Stringer, the team’s presence goes a long way for the children.

"It means a lot that the players took time out of their day to visit us,” Stringer said. “The kids here love seeing them, and they are serving as a positive role model.”

Sam Houston also lent a helping hand at the Boys & Girls Club, who mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. There, the Kats assisted in organizing a storage area and restocking books.

"It’s important that we do a great job in the community,” head coach K.C. Keeler said. “The community does a great job supporting us, so it’s just as important that we return it. You win with great players who are great students and do a great job in the community.”

For more on the program’s community service contributions as well as the latest practice updates, visit GoBearkats.com and follow @BearkatsFB on Twitter.