Dream to Read Program
January 7, 2005
Mount Union College's men's and women's basketball squads teamed up with Parkway Elementary School and participated in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Dream to Read Program, an annual national literacy program sponsored by the NABC on Thursday, January 6.
Players and coaches from the NCAA, NAIA and Junior College ranks will be visiting selected elementary schools in their area to promote the importance of reading and education. The program stresses the importance of improving literacy by direct contact with grade school children in the community.
Mount Union has teamed with Parkway Elementary regularly for the past several years.
'It is important to stress literacy in a way that is positive,' said Kathie Mathie, principal of Parkway Elementary. 'The Mount Union students are great role models because the kids do not associate athletics with reading. It is important for our students to interact with the athletes and see how reading can be fun.'
'We think this is a great way to serve young people,' said Jim Haney, NABC executive director. 'To have the college coaching community involved with such an important educational issue truly provides a winning combination.'
The Dream to Read Program was founded to assist the literacy movement in America. The program hopes to motivate and encourage children to read for enjoyment as a lifelong practice. The program allows collegiate basketball players to serve as needed role models to the youth of their community.
'It is nice for the players of both teams to step outside into the community and reach out to the kids,' said Lee Hood, head men's basketball coach at Mount Union. 'I think the players get as much out of this as the elementary students do because it is a great opportunity to be responsible role models. Young kids generally look up to college athletes.'
The NABC was founded in 1927 and currently claims approximately 5,000 members from NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, junior college and high school. Since its inception, the NABC has continually worked to further the best interests of the game of basketball as well as the players and coaches who participate in the sport.