ETSU Student-Athletes to participate in second annual "BUCS Love Books: Read a Book with Us" program
Kai Shrekenberg reads to the children at Woodland Elementary
Kai Shrekenberg reads to the children at Woodland Elementary

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (November 19, 2002) - East Tennessee State University's student-athletes won't be traveling with their coaches this Thursday and Friday, but with The Cat in the Hat, Charlotte and Wilbur, and the Runaway Bunny. The Buccaneers will be attending the second annual "BUCS Love Books: Read a Book with Us" program on November 21-22 at Woodland Elementary from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

The "BUCS Love Books" program is a part of the athletic departments reading initiative launched last year. The program is in conjunction with Woodland Elementary's Reading is Fundamental Days in which kindergarten, first, and second-graders choose a book to keep. ETSU's student-athletes will be there to read and interact with the children as they pick out their books. The student-athletes also send home a voucher for two free basketball tickets, a bookmark, and a letter to each parent.

"This program is mutually beneficial to not only the children, but to our student-athletes as well," said ETSU academic adviser Kim Reece. "I hope that we are able to work with other schools within the community in the spring."

Last year ETSU athletes included football players Scott Carter and Kai Shreckenberg, basketball player Zakee Wadood, soccer player Kristin Redfern, track runners Tiffany Collier and Brooke Deacon and volleyball player Rachel Shifflet. Athletes from each sport are expected to be in attendance throughout the two RIF days this year.

The program is funded by Reading is Fundamental, which donates the books to Woodland Elementary along with other area schools who qualify for the funding.

"The younger children are really excited about their new books but are not quite ready to read on their own," said Woodland Kindergarten teacher Penny McPeak. Having the student-athletes come in gives the children an opportunity to have an adult read to them and get excited about reading in order to encourage parental involvement."

For more information on the event please contact Kim Reece at 439-6439.