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SHARP Literacy announced details of 2021/2022 student athlete reading programs in partnership with the Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball and lacrosse teams, and women’s soccer team, and Carroll University Pioneers men’s basketball team. This is the seventh and fifth consecutive year, respectively, of SHARP’s partnership with Marquette and Carroll University on the reading program. This year’s Reading with the Golden Eagles and Reading with the Pioneers sessions began in October and will continue through May.
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 student athletes. As part of the program, athletes spend time reading with K4 – 5th grade students (in-person with Carroll University Pios and virtually with Marquette Golden Eagles) 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. This is a unique educational opportunity for SHARP’s young students, according to Lynda Kohler, president/CEO of SHARP Literacy. “These kids light up when the athletes walk into their classroom or appear on their computer screens. As athletes share their personal stories, 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 provided the opportunity to serve as mentors and give back to their community.”
During the 2021/2022 academic year, the reading partnership program with both universities will include the participation of approximately 30 student athletes andfive Milwaukee-area schools including Blessed Sacrament, Browning Elementary School, Granville Lutheran School, Kluge Elementary School, and St. Martini Lutheran School, and two Waukesha-area schools including Whittier Elementary School and La Casa de Esperanza.
Both university partnership programs are based in community service. “I am very proud of our partnership with SHARP Literacy and their mission to inspire children to become lifelong learners,” said Shaka Smart, head coach of Marquette University men’s basketball program. “Marquette student athletes enjoy being a part of the ‘Reading with the Golden Eagles’ program and making a positive impact in the Milwaukee community.” Carroll University’s partnership with SHARP provides athletes with opportunities to inspire young students, according to Paul Combs, head men’s basketball coach at Carroll University. “This program provides our student-athletes the unique opportunity to share their love of learning and reading with the youngest of learners. 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 partner with educators to foster a love of learning and advance children’s futures through innovative STEAM-based experiences and programs. 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 thousands of urban elementary school students and educators in 49 schools across Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha. For more information, visit www.sharpliteracy.org.