WACO, Texas (KWTX) Baylor’s Lady Bears, fans and coach Kim Mulkey dug deep to make sure that every single first grade student in the Waco ISD, including many who have never owned their own books, got a brand new children’s book to take home just in time for the holidays.
Baylor’s Lady Bears are making sure that every first grade student in the Waco ISD, has a brand new children’s book to take home just in time for the holidays. (Photo by Bill Gowdy)
The reigning national champions started spreading the holiday cheer during a visit Tuesday morning to West Avenue Elementary School where author Stephen Davis, a 2004 graduate of Midway High School and current Austin resident, joined the team as the players read his latest children’s book “Brooke & Collins’ Rainy Day Adventure” to the youngsters gathered in the library.
Davis started the program by talking to the students about reading and asking them to tell him their favorite books to read.
Star player Lauren Cox then read Davis’ book to the first graders gathered around the team before ending with a surprise for the kids.
“Each one of y’all are going to get to take home this book so that you can read it at home with your parents, your grandparents, your sisters or brothers, whoever you want to read it to,” Cox told the students.
“You guys are all going to get a copy from us.”
The students responded with cheers and a simultaneous “thank you.”
Guard Moon Ursin said she grew up with a mother and grandmother who instilled in her a love of reading and she wants to share the same privilege with kids who may not be as fortunate.
“For them to be able to look at words on a page and read it consistently and read it well I think that gets them excited just to pick up other books,” Ursin said.
“Just to give them a sense that they can and ‘I think I can,’ and I think for many kids when they pronounce words they feel like they accomplished something.”
Mulkey personally picked up the tab for much of the cost assisted by Lady Bears fans and supporters.
After signing books for the students there, the team split up to read to other first graders in the area including students at Cedar Ridge Elementary, Lake Air Montessori and South Waco Elementary School.
Hundreds of books were passed out to first graders today and by the end of next week all first graders within the Waco ISD, which is more than two-thousand kids, will be going home with their own book.
Students told KWTX they’ve never owned their own book or had anyone at home read to them.
“My family emphasized education and reading obviously gives you knowledge,” Ursin said.
“So just giving back to the community and giving back to the kids just to show them that we appreciate them and they are important.”