Pete Rose went to school today to begin serving a court-ordered community service sentence as a gym teacher's aide.

The former Cincinnati Reds manager showed up at Heberle Elementary School wearing sunglasses, blue jeans and running shoes shortly after students reported for school.Rose, 49, must do 1,000 hours of community service as part of his sentence for cheating on his income taxes.

Asked if he expected the job to be fun, Rose said, "Yeah, it will be a fun job."

Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader, is working rotating assignments at Heberle and four other inner-city elementary schools until the end of the school year.

He is living at Talbert House, a Cincinnati halfway house to which he was released Jan. 7 after serving five months in the federal prison camp in Marion, Ill.

"Obviously, the next three months will be a lot more fun than the last five," Rose said last week. "I'm really looking forward to working with the kids. I have a thousand hours and I think I can do something for the kids. I'm going to do these thousand hours to the best of my ability and turn the page on this."

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Rose's assignments at the school will be determined by gym teachers.

Asked what he would tell the youngsters, Rose said, "I didn't make it up, but I like, `Get high on sports, don't get high on drugs."'

After the school year ends, Rose is to complete his community service by working with boys and girls at a Cincinnati recreation center in a low-income neighborhood.

Rose admitted hiding $354,968 in income from autograph appearances, baseball memorabilia and gambling.

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