UAB men's basketball player Denzell Watts reading to local students.
March 3, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Blazer student-athletes visited Epic Elementary School on Monday to be part of Read Across America 2014 and to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday with the kindergarten through fifth grade students at the southside elementary school. Student-athletes from UAB football, men’s basketball, volleyball and women’s track & field participated in the event.
The outing was part of the nationwide Read Across America 2014 initiative and served nearly 30 elementary schools in the Birmingham metro area. The purpose of Read Across America is to motivate children to read, as reading is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong learners. The program began in 1998 and has grown rapidly ever since.
“Getting to take a quick timeout from class and basketball to come and read to these kids is a great opportunity for all of us as student-athletes,” freshman men’s basketball student-athlete Denzell Watts said. “They were excited to see us and we had just as much fun as they did.”
“Dr. Seuss books were the way many of our student-athletes were introduced to reading so this is something important to them to pass on to others” said Justin Mackey, Director of Student-Athlete Support Services and Community Relations at UAB. “This type of event is easy to get volunteers for because it helps the local community, involves children, and is a lot of fun for everyone.”
The National Education Association (NEA) assists with providing materials, activities, and ideas for special events like the Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration. The NEA represents roughly 3.2 million elementary through higher education faculty members in the United States.
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