On May 21, South Bronx United held its first Literacy Day. It was a tremendous success any way you look at it! The day comprised of two components:
First, youth from the U15, U17, and U19 boys travel teams read soccer books to children in the U6, U8, and U10 recreational programs (the older youth followed the readings by coaching or refereeing the children’s games. A huge thanks is due to author Jeffrey Eagle for donating 20 copies of the soccer edition of his “Jolly Blast Super Galactic Sports Adventures” children’s book series. The children (and coaches) thoroughly enjoyed the book, and they followed up the reading with some stretches directly from its pages. Boys and girls in the U10 group enjoyed learning about the childhood of the greatest soccer star ever, Pele (no, not Messi) through Young Pele: Soccer’s FIrst Star, by Lese Cline-Ransome. I also want to thank the players who participate including Kebba Sanneh, Francisco Mendoza, Samuel Amaning, Awudu Musah, Youssef Ballo, Jeffrey Cordova, and Carmel Addae.
Second, South Bronx United distributed over 500 free books to children and parents. Books were donated by Kiwi Magazine, Half-Price Books, and Berry-Hill Elementary School in Syosset, New York. A huge appreciation goes out to those groups. I was amazed at how fast the books were gone. It just shows that parents and children are starving for good reading materials.
At the end of the day, the event felt like a huge success. We left with some children taking reading and literacy a little bit more seriously. Some older players had the chance to read to young children for the first time. And everyone seemed to have fun! I’m already looking forward to the next Literacy Day!