SHARP Literacy announced details of student athlete reading programs in partnership with the Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball team, and Carroll University Pioneers men’s basketball and football teams, and women’s basketball and soccer teams. The two programs, Reading with the Golden Eagles and Reading with the Pioneers, began last month and will continue through the 2018/2019 school year.
The partnership provides elementary students participating in SHARP Literacy’s educational program in Milwaukee- and Waukesha-area schools the opportunity to meet and read with Marquette University and Carroll University student athletes. As part of the program, athletes spend time reading with 4K – 5th grade students in the classroom and discuss the importance of reading in all aspects of their education. Athletes also share their special childhood reading experiences with students and answer their questions. The reading session is capped off with an enthusiastic visit from university mascots, and a special treat for the students. This is a unique educational opportunity for SHARP’s young students, according to Lynda Kohler, president/CEO of SHARP Literacy. “Our students are awe-struck and inspired when the athletes walk into their classroom. As athletes share their personal stories, the children see what a difference reading has made in their lives. It’s an inspirational experience for students, and for athletes, too, as they are given the wonderful opportunity to serve as mentors and give back to their community.”
The reading partnership program with both universities will include the participation of approximately 60 student athletes and 1,200 students in seven Milwaukee-area schools including Brown Street Academy, Catholic East Elementary School, Elm Creative Arts School, La Causa Charter School, Messmer St. Rose, Notre Dame School of Milwaukee, and School for Early Development & Achievement, and four Waukesha-area schools including Banting Elementary School, La Casa de Esperanza, Summit View Elementary School and Whittier Elementary School.
Both university partnership programs are rooted in community service. “I am very proud of our partnership with SHARP Literacy and their mission to help children become lifelong learners,” said Steve “Wojo” Wojciechowski, men’s basketball coach at Marquette University. “Our players thoroughly enjoy the ‘Reading with the Golden Eagles’ program and making a positive impact in the Milwaukee Community.” Carroll University’s partnership with SHARP is now going beyond men’s basketball, according to Paul Combs, men’s basketball coach at Carroll University. “This year, football, women’s basketball and women’s soccer will be joining men’s basketball, allowing us to expand our impact and reach in visiting elementary schools and sharing a love of learning and reading with students. Service to community is an important part of what it means to be a Pioneer and our partnership with SHARP Literacy helps us put that tradition into action.”
SHARP Literacy, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Milwaukee nonprofit educational program whose mission is to enhance future life success by energizing urban children, motivating them to identify themselves as confident, capable scholars and lifelong learners by inspiring engagement in reading, writing and research through hands-on interaction and visual arts. The primary goal of SHARP Literacy is to provide elementary school students with an imaginative learning experience that builds confidence, self-esteem, and a greater awareness of the world. This year SHARP Literacy, Inc. will impart foundational literacy skills to over 8,000 elementary school students and educators in 43 of Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties’ most at-risk schools. For more information, visit www.sharpliteracy.org.