Winner Wonderland: Iriyanah

This is Coach Siller's first-year with The ACE Project. We are so proud to have her on our team! She is a parent and also works as a lunch monitor at Washington Elementary, so the children were already quite familiar with her friendliness and positivity! This is her Winner Wonderland story:

From the time Iriyanah sees me at lunch, she will run up to me and give me a big hug with that big smile on her face and say, “is it tennis today?”

It’s 3 o’clock. It’s tennis time! Here comes my big smile and my big hug. “Coach Siller, what are we going to do today?” First of all let’s put our coats and bookbags up check those shoestrings.

Coach Eaker will take attendance and then Coach Jones will start the warm-up drills. After the warm-up drills we will get into our groups and start with walk the dog. Iriyanah likes walk the dog, which teaches a form of ball control an concentration. it also gives her a chance to show she can beat the boys she loves to learn new things every day she likes to do something different. She likes daily drills, but some days I have noticed she can drift off into a little world of her own and then she doesn’t want to do anything. That’s when I will start to talk to her and if maybe it’s naptime, because after all she is only in kindergarten and her day is long. When I see her drift off into that space most of the time it’s when the little ones don’t get a chance to use the nets. But if we do something at the net like stop OMG all the smiles, because now she feels like she is really playing tennis. One day when some of the kids were taking a survey in the media center we had a chance to use the nets, with the little ones they were so happy. This not only made them feel like they were playing tennis, but they were just as big as the other kids. Iriyanah wanted to challenge me to a game of tennis so we have a match just she and I OMG that smile got so big I thought she was going to hurt her face!

One day if she continues to practice she is going to be really good. This is why I love doing what I do: the big smiles and hugs and all the Iriyanahs!!!

The big smiles and hugs are what make the ACE team a family! You can join us by donating through our Winner Wonderland campaign today!

Susan Klumpner