ETSU athletic department participates in local summer reading program

Friday, July 22, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, TENN. (July 22, 2005) - Members of the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, along with Buccaneer student-athletes have been active in the community this summer, participating in the "Be Major League Read" program, held at the Johnson City Public Library.


"With the major league theme, we thought it would be appropriate to tie in the ETSU athletic department," said Betty Cobb, Head of Youth Services at the library.


When Cobb contacted ETSU about participating in the program, ETSU Associate AD/Senior Woman Administrator Barbie Breedlove was quick to take advantage of the community service opportunity.


"Community service is something that is very important to us as a department," said Breedlove.  "It was a good opportunity to have student-athletes, head coaches, upper-level administrators, and representatives from our entire department participate in the program.  It's important for us to have a positive impact on the community."


Several ETSU staff members and student-athletes have made appearances and read to local children including Buccaneer head coaches Lindsey Devine and Karen Kemp, ETSU Director of Athletics Dave Mullins, along with student-athletes Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) and Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.), all of whom the children were delighted to see.


"It has been gratifying and rewarding to help young people understand the importance of reading and education," said Breedlove.  "It's important for us to take a leadership role and give back to a community that gives us so much."


The program not only includes readings from special guests on Thursdays, it aimed at encouraging young people to read all summer long.


"Each child sets his or her own goal to read as many books as they can," said Cobb.  "Then we have a special program every Thursday."


The program at the Johnson City library is a part of the state-wide Tennessee Summer Reading Program.  It began on June 1, and ran through July 21.


Sponsors of the summer reading program include the Harris Fund of Washington County and Friends of the Johnson City Public Library.