‘Ooohs’ and ‘ahhs’ of excitement were heard one recent game-day Friday as Mount Gilead Park Ave second grade students poured through the new books that each student received to take home.
This special book and reading event actually started earlier in the afternoon, when the second graders were read a story by jersey-clad Mount Gilead High School football players. Adding to the players’ and second graders’ excitement was the knowledge that the books were gifts from former Ohio State football players Ryan Miller, Mike Vrabel and Luke Fickell. These books are a donation from The Second & Seven Foundation www.secondandseven.com.
In 1999, after their time with the Ohio State football program, Miller, Vrabel and Fickell started The Second & Seven Foundation to promote reading. This foundation works to make a difference by “promoting literacy and providing positive role models for children in central Ohio.” The Second and Seven Foundation donated enough books for each of our second graders to be given a book after being read a story by a football player. Research has repeatedly shown that one of the best ways to foster reading in young people is to have them see role models reading.
Traditionally, The Second and Seven Foundation books are read by collegiate level athletes. Since Mount Gilead does not have a college with a football program in the immediate vicinity, members of the Mount Gilead football team volunteered to be readers. Football coach, Jason Ross, and District Librarian, Deb Logan, worked with the Mount Gilead administration, second grade teachers and integrated arts teachers staff to arrange for the second graders to listen to our football players read.
More photos with this story can be seen on www.morrowcountysentinel.com.