Teens share joy of reading with youngsters

Amy Hamilton

Listening to a big shot reading can create a huge impact on young students. That’s one reason why high school football players made the rounds reading books to students at Moffat County elementary schools on Tuesday.

“It’s good to be a strong reader,” said high school senior Nick Goodenow to a group of students, riveted on his every word. “It puts you at an advantage over everyone else.”

Local high school athletes share a long tradition in reading to younger students, a practice that may keep youngsters more enthralled in reading when hearing stories from a different source other than the usual parents or a homeroom teacher, said Moffat County teachers.

With Literacy Week running through Friday, school administrators look to ways to keep reading fresh for young students.

“Anytime they get the (high school students) over here to read, the kids just love it,” said Ridgeview Elementary School Library Technician Sandy Buckner. “They see these guys on the field and can’t wait to do that someday.”

Indeed, after each reading session, young students took turns quizzing football players about life in high school and playing sports.

Questions ranged from, “How fast can you run?” to “How many people are on the football team?”

Fourth-grader Amie Chadwick was just one student who enjoyed having the towering teenagers visit her classroom.

“I thought it was fun to have them come,” she said. “I like having people read to me.”

It seems the athletes also gained a little something for their time.

“It’s pretty fun,” said Goodenow. “You get a lot more respect at elementary school than you get anywhere else.”

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or

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