Read Across America week is a national initiative to promote children’s literacy. It kicked off March 2, coincidentally Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and continued through March 6.
To celebrate the week, 80 UofL student-athletes and staff from 17 different teams read books to students from 13 different elementary schools and non-profit organizations throughout Louisville.
“I thought this was such a good experience to be with the students and to see how receptive they were to us reading to them,” said freshman softball player, Lexi Carver. “To be able to put a smile on their faces when we get to read to them, it means a lot to me.”
UofL student-athletes not only read to the elementary students, they also answered questions about what it’s like to go to college and to be an athlete.
“I remember when I was kid and student-athletes would come speak to us and now I’m in that position to give back in the same way and to positively impact them,” said Keith Oddo, a fifth-year men’s basketball player.
Football player Russ Yeast said he was grateful to be able to show young students that reading is empowering.
“We were able to tell them the importance of staying in school and how literacy is important to making it through school,” he said.
This initiative is part of a number of community service efforts put forth by UofL’s athletics department. The University of Louisville athletics department was named the winner of the 2019-20 NCAA Team Works Award Competition for outstanding community service in Division I. This marks the second time the Cardinals have won the award in the six years of the competition.