ST. JAMES, MN

Bernie Williams played professional baseball for the New York Yankees for 16 years.

As his career was coming to an end, he started thinking about what he wanted to do after baseball.

For Williams, the answer was pretty easy.

"I went back to one of my first loves, which was music, and I tried to develop into an actual musician after my baseball career," said Williams.  "That led me to a lot of opportunities to perform and utilize music and be an advocate for music and arts because I know how important this was in my life growing up."

Those connections and opportunities led to the Turnaround Arts.

The program is in its fifth year working in Minnesota with low–performing schools to use the arts as a key tool in school transformation.

Schools who have participated have seen increased academic achievement, increased student and family engagement as well as improved school culture and climate.

"I chose to be part of the Turnaround Arts Program because I understand how important my involvement with arts and music was in my upbringing as a child," added Williams.

The day was then spent hanging out in different classrooms, interacting with kids and at the end of the day, Williams even played a little guitar for the school.

"I think my favorite thing about this one is he is a sports figure along as being a musician because sometimes guys or boys tend to not want to do music because they are so involved with both and I love that he does both and has done both," said K-5 Music Teacher Cathy Bruce.

Walking around the school, children gravitated to Williams.

School officials thought he was the perfect role model for students in St. James to be able to look up to.

--KEYC News 12