Arlington, Va. – Marymount University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams participated with the “Dream to Read” program at nearby Abingdon Elementary School last week. Members from both squads took part in three reading sessions each for students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.
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 and allows collegiate basketball players to serve as needed role models to the youth of their community.
"This was our first trip to Abingdon and our first time being involved with the ‘Dream to Read’ program,” men’s basketball head coach Chris Rogers said. “It was a great opportunity for our student-athletes to interact and give back. The Abingdon students and staff were excited and appreciative which made it a great experience.”
Along with serving as guest readers, members of both teams also had the opportunity to share their thoughts about the importance of reading and the different types of material they enjoy. Following each session, student-athletes fielded questions from the Abingdon students and were presented with handmade cards as appreciation at the end of the day.
“It was so rewarding to read and interact with the Abingdon students and staff,” said women’s basketball head coach Ashlee Courter. “The staff was welcoming and the students were so excited to have guest readers. Both teams did an outstanding job of engaging the students during their reading activities.”
A rousing success in their first collaboration, the Saints anticipate making the Dream to Read program an annual event and even hope to make it back to Abingdon once again before the school year is over.