By Ashley Lee: PNT Staff Writer
R.M. James Elementary students had a special storytime Monday with members of the mens basketball team from Eastern New Mexico University.
Members of the Greyhound basketball squad participated in the annual literacy program sponsored annually by the National Association of Basketball Coaches by reading to the students. The national program aspires to have players serve as role models for local students.
Mikal Monette a third-year ENMU basketball player read “No More Water in the Tub, and “How Much is That doggie in the Window” to a group of second-graders.
“ We read to them to be able to get children involved with us the basketball players and teach them that reading can be fun,” said Monette.
For some of the players this is their second year to participate in the program.
“We read last year and they invited us back,” said Ira Cross an ENMU basketball player.
Cross and Aaron Rodriguez read “Remember to Have Fun” to another group of second-graders.
According to an ENMU press release the reading program was founded to assist the literacy movement in America, the program hopes to motivate and encourage children to read for enjoyment as a life-long practice.
“We are excited about our second year for this program in Portales at James Elementary,” Greyhound coach Shawn Scanlan said. “It gives us the opportunity to bring real awareness to the national literacy effort and at the same time have a personal interaction between our student athletes and the younger students in our community. I see positive benefits for all the parties involved in this effort.”
“There are players reading in all of the different classrooms, and I think they will be reading Arthur in some,” said Cross.