Never underestimate the allure of a sports star when it comes to encouraging kids to read.
“Are you a football player?” asked a wide-eyed second-grade student as Kevin Curtis entered a Bella Vista classroom. “I used to be. I used to play for Philadelphia. Do you know where that is?” said Curtis before settling into a chair and cracking open a copy of, Oh the Thinks you Can Think.
“Oh, yes, I like Philadelphia,” the student responded.
Curtis, a native Utahn and wide receiver who used to play for the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, spent the morning of March 2 introducing students to such tongue-twisting Seuss favorites as “Hop on Pop” and “Fox in Socks” as part of the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day. The event is held each year in honor of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s birthday.
Anything to promote reading, the gateway to knowledge and a higher education, Curtis said. “I was glad to be invited. It was a great opportunity.”
Joining Curtis this year at Bella Vista were college athletes from the University of Utah, Cottonwood Heights police officers, fire fighters and CSD Board of Education member Amber Shill. CSD schools also marked the occasion with a lunch of green eggs and ham.
Read Across America began in 1998, and the NEA estimates that as many as 45 million children and adults participate. Anyone can take part by donating used books to a local library or resolving to read daily with their children.
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