By WESLEY REMMER
The Mariner Moose entertained, broadcasters Dave Valle and Dave Sims and player Mike Morse educated, and students and staff enjoyed as the Mariners Caravan visited View Ridge Elementary students on Tuesday afternoon for a special assembly at the school.
The Mariners Caravan, which is a community outreach group composed of current and former Mariner players and broadcasters, travels to different schools before the beginning of each baseball season to deliver its D.R.E.A.M. message, a set of five principles the team uses to educate students on the importance of developing a positive character.
“We’re trying to deliver the message that if you follow the core D.R.E.A.M. values you can do anything,” Morse said of the acronym, which stands for Drug-free, Respect, Education, Attitude and Motivation.
Morse, a Mariners utility player who hit .444 in 18 at-bats last season, believes that messages delivered by professional athletes, organizations and other community icons tend to resonate with children.
“When I was a kid, this is the kind of stuff that stuck with me,” he said.
And Morse, a Florida native, travels across the country every year to join the Mariner Caravan.
“I came all the way from Florida, and I do every year, because I think it’s huge to give back,” he said.
The D.R.E.A.M. message coincides with a similar ideology the View Ridge Elementary staff uses in its classroom education.
“The D.R.E.A.M. concept fits in with what we’re doing at the school,” said View Ridge office coordinator Kent Soule.
Soule said the school’s Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program is similar to D.R.E.A.M. in that it reinforces and encourages positive behavior.
“We make sure kids get four positives for every one negative,” Soule said of PBS. “Teachers will be able to take this and incorporate the D.R.E.A.M. message into what they’re doing in the classrooms.”
After the assembly, the Mariners Caravan hosted a public autograph and photo session at Olympic College.
Morse, Valle and Sims all signed free autographs, while the Moose — a favorite of the kids’ — was available for pictures.