Several years ago, Napa Valley Unified School District Librarian Kate MacMillan started a program for school athletes to read to younger children and to talk about the importance of reading. The Athletes as Readers and Leaders program was featured in February 2009 on the Napa Football News website. Kate said "when Troy Mott, the Napa High football coach, told me that the article had been posted on the Napa High Football Website, I couldn't resist sending this link. I think it shows how our coaches believe in the importance of the student athlete as a role model for younger students. This year we have also involved the sports leadership class at Vintage high school in the program and hope to include more athletes from different sports. In addition, our videographer films and edits the visits to show on our local education cable station."
Kate was able to get a small grant for the picture books. She says "The players take the book home and practice before they read…. Also Coach Mott has the players include this activity in college and scholarship applications." This is a wonderful win-win-win-win model. Kudos to Kate, coach, and kids.
Library as a solution: literacy, youth leadership