Gators Give Books to Duval Students
We all know "reading is fundamental" and today some lucky fourth and fifth graders got books autographed by their heroes. Some of Santa's helpers came early to Duval Elementary School by all accounts these are the largest "elves" ever seen.
They may not look like Santa's usual helpers, but these Florida gators showed up at Duval to hand out books and share the gift of reading.
Florida football player, Mike Pouncey sat among four other teammates and signed books to what seemed endless lines of students. "When I was a kid players, football players coming and doing this kind of stuff meant a lot to me, you know I just want to do anything for the kids," says Pouncey.
And his twin brother Maurkice echoed his look-alike's sentiment,"I think we're a big example on them so I'm glad we came out here and did this today."
Books may not always be at the top of every kid's wish list but Duval's reading coach, Jacquatte Rolle, says that not all children have access to books at home. "Those environments are very important to becoming literate in our society, those are some of the obstacles that some of our students might face," she explains.
But the Santa behind the book giveaway were the local lawyers of the 8th judicial circuit. Margaret Stack, Assistant State Attorney says, "It's so fulfilling to be able to help these kids and give them something special." And her boss, State Attorney, Bill Cervone added, "I think it's critically important that young people have a positive interaction with role models."
They bought more than 500 books which are already a hit especially for fifth grader, Shayna Durham "It's going right into my collection. I read this book it's so amazing to me it's passionate..."
And it's no surprise that Shayna is already reading on the sixth grade level. Her sights are already set high she wants to be a lawyer one day.
Player, Brandon James says, "I think it's important for them to see athletes and guys with a little success in college that are trying to do good. "
Having access to books is a crucial as having pens, paper and computers, without them these students may never know what they can be.
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