Softball and baseball players stepped up to the plate on Friday and became part of a reading celebration at Christiansburg Primary School.
Over two dozen high schoolers read to kindergarteners and first graders as part of “National Read Across America Week” that also recognized the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
Appropriately, each student athlete read a Dr. Seuss book to the youngsters.
The week was started by the National Education Association in 1997 to encourage reading initiatives across the country like the one at Christiansburg Primary in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2).
This year was the 20th anniversary of the reading week with more than 45 million parents, educators and others participating throughout the country.
In the words of Dr. Seuss himself: “You’re never too old, too wacky or too wild to pick up a book and read to a child.”
Katherine Meadows, a teacher at Christiansburg Primary, and a proud mother of a varsity baseball player, helped organize Friday’s event. She said it was nice to see high school students giving back to the community in this way.
“I think they (the student-athletes) got a lot out of it, and maybe more than the little kids did,” she said. “It’s a great way for them to give back and be engaged in the community.”
Two to three players were assigned to each class.
Jesse Burleson, a senior softball player, said it was exciting to see the kids’ faces light up as they read to them.
Kelsey Hall, another softball player, agreed with her teammate. The two chose to read “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back” to a kindergarten class.
“I think I went full circle, and reading today brought back several childhood memories for me. It was very enjoyable to do it,” she said.
Earlier in the week, Radford University brought members of its track team to the school for a similar reading. Throughout the week, parents and other local leaders read to the students, who dressed up as a Dr. Seuss and many of his book’s character almost every day. They were also treated to a breakfast of green eggs and ham.