Behind the Scenes: All-Access Wolverines

While considered a student-athlete at Michigan, expectations in academics are clearly defined while athletic skills are perfected for competition on big stages with bright lights. Behind the scenes, student-athletes get involved in a multitude of ways with their local community and we are giving YOU access to those stories:

Join the Fun: Grab a Book and Share a Story

Monday, April 14, 2014 -- Celebrating National Reading Month this past March, student-athletes visited local elementary schools with a focus on the value and fun of shared reading. After introducing themselves and explaining the impact reading has made in their life, the class was split into small groups. Each room full of energetic kids threw out predictions about plot twists, favorite characters and alternate endings as student-athletes challenged their groups.

Strong Finish: Friday Fun at Bryant Community Center

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 -- Ann Arbor's Bryant Community Center runs a weekly after-school program for neighborhood kids, and they recently invited Michigan student-athletes to join them for "Friday Fun Days." Each Friday the center gives the kids a break from their studies to play or design crafts. With student-athletes from women's soccer, football and field hockey stopping by, the fun has been elevated to new levels. Having dance competitions that rival Mock Rock performances, Lego towers scraping the ceiling, and board games with new rules, Fridays at Bryant continues to bring smiles out just in time for the weekend.

A Trip to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

Monday, March 10, 2014 -- University of Michigan student-athletes have been visiting C.S. Mott Children's Hospital for more than 20 years to do their small part to help ease the pain of young patients and their families. The men's basketball team recently made a trip to the hospital for photos, autographs and smiles.

• Watch: Men's Basketball Visits Mott Hospital video icon

Beside a Hero: Teaming Up to Help End Hunger at Food Gatherers

Friday, March. 7, 2014 -- Michigan student-athletes recently joined forces with the Ann Arbor Chapter of Team Red, White and Blue to volunteer with veterans and their families at Food Gatherers. Team RWB's aims to enrich the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. During the Food Gatherers volunteer shift, some of their work included bagging fruits and vegetables and culminated with a discussion about hunger issues facing Washtenaw County. Team RWB and Food Gatherers were both selected as 2014 Mock Rock beneficiaries. Mock Rock is a student-athlete run talent show that raises money for various philanthropic partners in the Ann Arbor community.

Mock Rock Website

No Time to Rest: WE Have a Job to do!

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 -- We are all busy. But what are you doing with your free time? University of Michigan men's basketball forward Jordan Morgan spent his time standing with vendors from Groundcover News to help market their paper. The newspaper covers many topics on local and national issues written by their vendors and volunteers. Groundcover's main focus is to raise awareness around the plight of the homeless and combat the increase in poverty. For more pictures and to see the Ann Arbor News article online, click the link below.

Jordan Morgan volunteers for Ann Arbor street newspaper (Ann Arbor News)

Together as One: Passing the Torch, Blazing the Trail

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 -- On Saturday (Feb. 1) as the snow and ice continued to build, young Wolverine fans made their way to the Player Development Center for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This event featured a variety of teams all represented by passionate student-athletes willing to teach the next generation some of the basics of their sport. After a quick workout with the rowing team on an erg machine or volleying with the volleyball team, participants went next door into the Crisler Center to cheer on Coach Arico and the women's basketball team.

• Photos: NGWSD Event Photo icon

Band of Brothers: Men's Lacrosse Promotes Awareness of Childhood Cancer

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 -- As the men's lacrosse team heads into a new season, the guys took time to show their support for a close friend and teammate, Miles Root. Early in the afternoon on Saturday, Jan. 25, the team volunteered to shave their heads to help raise awareness for childhood cancer. With winter sending unparalleled temperatures onto campus, having less hair will be tough but worth the sacrifice for a fellow Wolverine.

• Read more on Miles: Maize and Blue Supports Friends of Jaclyn

Let Me Upgrade You: Baseball Works on Area Fields

Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 -- With temperatures diving low for winter and the ground as tough as rocks, the Michigan baseball team went to work in the community on a couple local school diamonds. With their own field under construction, coach Erik Bakich and his team upgraded two Ann Arbor baseball fields during the holiday season. Tappan and Scarlett middle schools both received fresh dirt in the infield and a mound and home plate that would rival most professional ballparks.

Wolverines Help Shop With a Cop Program

Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 -- A trio of dancers from the Michigan dance team, head coach Valerie Stead Potsos and the women's tennis team helped area youngsters fill out their shopping lists, pick presents for their family members, and wrap them up nicely during Wednesday's (Dec. 4) Shop with a Cop event held at Meijer on Jackson Road.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office organizes the annual event that selects children in need to spend a special night visiting with Santa, enjoy a pizza dinner and spend $100 on family members and themselves. The sheriff's office relies on community donations and local volunteers to chaperon the children, help them stay on budget and spread holiday cheer. Dancers Maria Tomsovic, Collette Verch and Lauren Wilson made crafts with a handful of kids, helped them navigate the aisles of Meijer and encouraged the spirit of giving.

• Watch: Wolverines Help Shop with a Cop video icon

Football Thanksgiving Food Drive

Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 -- Nearly 600 gathered Thursday (Nov. 28) for a Thanksgiving meal prior to the regular-season finale for the Wolverines, who held a food drive to benefit the local food bank Food Gatherers. During the holidays, when families come together to enjoy a warm meal and share a few stories, Team 134 stepped up to give a few more families the chance to enjoy a meal around the table.

• Watch: Football Thanksgiving Food Drive video icon

Army vs. Navy Wheelchair Basketball

Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 -- On Sunday, Nov. 10, the lights in Crisler Center were on as some of America's heroes put their skills to the test in the Annual Army vs. Navy Wheelchair Basketball game. More than 70 student-athletes and athletic trainers volunteered at this year's event to highlight Veterans Week and Investing In Ability Week at the University of Michigan. Around 50 active duty and veteran athletes with disabilities participated in the wheelchair basketball game; while the fans of all ages got to see the two teams compete.

Women's Basketball Visits Burns Park Elementary

Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 -- The University of Michigan women's basketball team dropped by Burns Park Elementary during the school's recess and lunch periods to talk to the kids about fairness, fitness and fun. The team showed the students how to perform proper warm-up drills and gave them tips on how to be a good teammate.

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