CHICAGO -- Infielder Adrian Cardenas was part of a contingent that helped unveil the Cubs Classroom at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago on Saturday, and he won't forget the energy of one of the patients he met.
"She was chanting the Cubs song, which was awesome," Cardenas said. "She was going, 'Go, Cubs, Go,' and she was excited when she got a [Cubs] hat."
Shortstop Starlin Castro, catcher Steve Clevenger, baseball operations president Theo Epstein and Cubs Charities board chair Laura Ricketts were in the group that took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The new 350-square-foot classroom, donated by Cubs Charities, will serve as the focal point for all of the hospital's education-based programming, providing a wide variety of learning and enrichment activities to keep children engaged while in the hospital.
Cardenas admitted he didn't know why they were making the hospital visit.
"I went there not knowing what they were celebrating, but, obviously, knowing I was going to cheer some of the patients up, and they in return cheered me up," he said. "It was nice to hear it was for the school opening. It was just great and a great experience."
The classroom will provide space for volunteer tutors and teachers to help children with their schoolwork and offer grade-appropriate enrichment activities, such as science experiments, computer games, art and multimedia projects, reading, and resources to teach kids about their own health and medical care.
Interactive technology-based learning will be a primary focus. Patients will have access to a bank of computers, video resources, educational software and a vast library of multilingual books for all age levels.