St. Louis Cardinals mascot Fredbird visits elementary schools each year to carry a message designed to encourage students to make good choices about their lives.
“We trust the messages presented in a fun and dynamic way will make a positive difference to those listening,” said Laura Lybrand, Cardinals community relations and Cardinals Care spokesperson.
Lybrand made the arrangement for Fredbird and Mike Claiborne, Cardinals broadcaster, to visit Coleman Elementary School Friday, Feb. 7.
In two separate school assemblies, the entire Coleman student body was able to get into the act with Claiborne developing a three-part theme — stay in school, play as many sports as you can and always say no to drugs.
The motivational assemblies, titled “Doin’ it Right,” are part of the Cardinals Care community relations program.
Claiborne demonstrated that he knew how to warm up a gym full of students.
After a couple of demonstrations with Claiborne cupping his ear, saying “I didn’t hear you,” and “You’re whispering,” students got it that their part of the program was to make their voices heard.
The veteran radio announcer and host involved his audience in an interactive program of collective response and waving hands.
“Raise your hand if you want to be a teacher, a doctor, play baseball, be a policeman.” Hands shot in the air on every request.
“No matter which one you pick, you have to have an education,” Claiborne said. “You have to stay in school.”
Play as many sports as you can and say no to drugs were the second and third part of the Cardinals Care message.
“You know who Fredbird is, right?” Claiborne asked. Students answered with a resounding, “Yes.”
Claiborne, a 10-year member of the St. Louis Cardinals broadcast team and host of “This Week in Cardinal Baseball,” played the straight man to Fredbird’s antics.
Fredbird demonstrated hand signals he had created for each of the three themes. To the delight of youngsters who filled the gymnasium floor, he skittered along aisles, touching hands and pointing to individual students.