Posted by: allisonbarnes | March 7, 2011

Read With Me Under the Sea

On Friday Spring Break officially started for UNC students.  Some went home to visit with friends and family, while others traveled somewhere south to get a tan. No matter where you are during your week off, everyone can catch up on a good book.  There is nothing like that one book that gets you on a reading frenzy, and that is what UNC student-athletes taught students at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School. On Jan. 31  student-athletes participated in the annual ReadAThon, the school’s largest fundraiser, to get kids excited about reading.

The annual ReadAThon is a 2 week-long fundraiser where students seek pledges and then read for the amount of pledges they received. This year’s theme, Read with Me Under the Sea, turned the library into an underwater world. There were fishes flying from the ceilings, a tiki hut in the corner, and a life-size humpback whale!

The event kicked off with the aquarium brining in sea turtles and concluded with having celebrity guest readers coming in to read to the kids.  For the first time, Library Media Specialist Kathryn Cole invited community members to participate in the ReadAThon.

“We invited community leaders throughout the area… the mayor, police, local news reporters, lots of different people,” said Cole. “It was neat to get a range of different people, and having UNC student-athletes attend was nice since they are in our backyard.”

One celebrity guest was junior Tennis player Haley Hemm, who had a great time reading to a fifth grade class.

“They were so excited to be there. While I was reading some absurd fairy tale book, the kids were laughing and interjecting personal stories,” said Hemm. “After story time, they asked me a whole bunch of questions about life as a college athlete.”

Student-Athletes shared some of the great things about college life, but also talked about the amount of discipline that is needed both in their sport and in the classroom. The FPG Staff valued the insights they gave the young students about what being a college athlete is really like.

“It was neat especially for our young girls to see the female student-athletes, and be able to hear their experiences with college athletics,” said Cole.

Read With Me Under the Sea was a huge success in the amount of pledges that were received, but more importantly the new-found love for reading among the kids. Everyone involved had a great time.

“The ReadAThon was a great event because not only did it promote an essential skill and a passion for learning but it also allowed role models to inspire these youngsters, ” said Hemm. “Nothing makes me happier than to see kids excited about learning!”

Below is a video of the UNC student-athletes trip to Frank Porter Graham’s Read With Me Under the Sea ReadAThon.

Created by Kathryn Cole, FPG Library Media Specialist.

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