Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame wide receiver Andre Reed promoted his Read with Reed 83 Challenge with a reading rally at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas’ (BGCD) Cedar Springs location on Fri., Dec. 7. Special guests included La’el Collins of the Dallas Cowboys, NFL Hall of Famer “Mean” Joe Greene, Dallas Stars player Connor Carrick, and former Dallas Stars player Marty Turco.
The goal of Reed’s program is to encourage kids to exercise their mind, tackle a good book, catch the love of reading, understand reading is a way “out and up,” and plan to read at least 30 minutes a day.
“My reading program called READ 83 has really taken and will support Boys & Girls Clubs in NFL cities,” Reed said. “I was a Club kid who made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now I represent what they stand for and I know that through reading, every child can do the same. Reading is a way out!”
The Andre Reed Foundation and Theresa Villano, Pro Athlete Community Engagement Manager and Read with Reed 83 program creator, are excited to partner their inner-city literacy initiatives with BGCD.
“Reading is tied to graduation rates and, ultimately, success rates,” said BGCD Director of Education and Arts Kristal Smart. “We’re proud to partner with Reed and we are very supportive of his commitment to making reading cool for kids.”
Creating a Safe Space to Read
In partnership with volunteers from American Airlines, Reed completed a reading room makeover at the Cedar Springs Club on Thurs., Dec. 6. More than 75 American Airlines employees painted and remodeled, creating a fun, safe environment for Club members to read and engage.
“American team members are an incredible force for good in the community and we are proud to collaborate with the Andre Reed Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs to create an engaging space for children to cultivate a love of reading,” said American Airlines Community Relations & Employee Engagement Managing Director Chris Singley.
Sarah Catherine Norris, founder of Vista Holdings and Read 83’s largest Dallas donor, has shown her support with a book drive that has provided much-needed reading materials for the Club. Norris has a strong interest in serving the community and a heart for improving literacy nationally.
“In my early life, I experienced reading difficulties and I have always been a proponent of improving and increasing literacy rates,” Norris said. “It is a joy to be involved with the Andre Reed Reading Challenge.”
The nationwide Andre Reed reading rallies kicked off 2018 in Buffalo, New York, and hit Allentown, Pennsylvania; Cleveland; Brooklyn, New York; Kansas City, Kansas; San Marcos, California; Boston; Minneapolis; and Seattle before coming to Dallas.
The Read with Reed 83 Challenge’s local MVP readers attended the Sun., Dec. 9, Cowboys home game as Reed’s VIP guests.